DeBruine LM, Fasolt V, Markova N, Holzleitner IJ, Lee A, Jones BC & O'Shea KJ (2017). Perceived resemblance is affected by both actual and perceived kinship. Human Behavior and Evolution Society in Boise, Idaho. May 2017.

Previous research suggests that beliefs in genetic relatedness influence perceived facial similarity between parent and offspring to a greater extent than actual relatedness. Participants (N = 101) rated the similarity between the faces of 57 parent-offspring pairs and 57 age- and sex-matched unrelated adult-child pairs. Half of the related and half of the unrelated pairs were labelled as parent-child, while the other half were labelled as unrelated (counterbalanced between participants). Both actual and labelled kinship influenced similarity judgments, although actual relatedness had a substantially larger effect than labelled kinship. Female raters were more influenced by label than were male raters. We did not replicate the finding that men perceive especially high similarity between putative father-child pairs. The results will be discussed in the context of theoretical accounts of whether offspring benefit from hiding their paternity and whether fathers benefit from skepticism about paternity.

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