Health Cues

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


Researchers have advanced a range of hypotheses to explain why individuals perceive some phenotypic traits as attractive. One such hypothesis is that these phenotypic traits act as cues that reveal valid information about the bearer’s underlying physiological health. Choosing healthy long-term (or even short-term) mating partners confers obvious fitness benefits. Understanding precisely what aspects of health such traits reflect is not always straightforward. Modern medicine and abundant high calorie food (at least in Western diets) has likely weakened, obscured, or even modified ancestral relationships between health and some phenotypic traits. Further complexities arise from the breadth of states (such as current nutritional state, and disease burden) and traits (MHC heterozygosity and immunocompetence) that contribute to an individual’s health.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of evolutionary psychological science
EditorsTodd K. Shackelford, Viviana Weekes-Shackleford
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9783319196503
ISBN (Print)9783319196497, 9783319196510
Publication statusPublished - 06 Sept 2017


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