Carlota Batres Associate Professor of Psychology



Ph.D., Psychology, University of St Andrews 

M.S., Evolutionary and Comparative Psychology, University of St Andrews 

B.A., Psychology, Economics, Wellesley College with Study Abroad at the London School of Economics and Oxford University



My research examines the information that faces convey. It only takes milliseconds for our brains to process someone’s face and unconsciously, we use facial cues to make a myriad of social judgments, ranging from how dominant someone is to how attractive we find them. Moreover, those judgments influence a wide array of social outcomes, from election results to partner choices, and therefore it is important to understand the mechanisms underpinning such perceptions.

For my PhD, I investigated the science behind what it is that we find attractive as well as the effects that facial masculinity, height, age, and adiposity have on each other and on judgments of dominance. My postdoc was then funded by CHANEL and focused on how cosmetics influence facial perceptions and social outcomes. 

For more information, visit




Groyecka-Bernard, A., Sorokowski, P., Karwowski, M.,...Batres, C.,,,& Sorokowska, A. (2024). Conservatism negatively predicts creativity: A study across 28 countriesJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology.
Jucker, J.L., Thornborrow, T., Batres, C.,...&  Boothroyd, L.G. (2024). Cultural predictors of facial ethnicity preference in the miskitu and mestizos of rural NicaraguaJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology.

Aung, T., Hill, A. K., Hlay, J. K.,... 
Batres, C.,... & Puts, D. (2024). Effects of voice pitch on social perceptions vary with relational mobility and homicide ratePsychological Science.

Koenig, B. L., Savage, J. M., Leukel, P. J.,... & Batres, C. (2023). Calibrated functional projection of sexual interest: A speed-dating cosmetics experiment. The Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium.


Sorokowska, A., Kowal, M., Saluja, S.,... Batres, C.,... & Croy, I. (2023). Love and affectionate touch toward romantic partners all over the world. Scientific Reports.


Buchanan, E. M., Lewis, S. C., Paris, B.,... Batres, C.,... & Vega, D. (2023). The Psychological Science Accelerator's COVID-19 rapid-response dataset. Scientific Data.


Batres, C., Russell, R., & Workowski, M. (2022). Makeup applied to facial features increases perceived skin evenness. Vision Research.


Batres, C., & Robinson, H. (2022). Makeup increases attractiveness in male faces. PloS ONE.

Batres, C., Jones, A.L., Barlett, C.P., Porcheron, A., Morizot, F., & Russell, R. (2022). Makeup works by modifying factors of facial beauty. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts.

Dorison, C. A., Lerner, J. S., Heller, B. H.,... Batres, C.,... & Coles, N. (2022). In COVID-19 health messaging, loss framing increases anxiety with little-to-no concomitant benefits: Experimental evidence from 84 countries. Affective Science.


Kerry, N., Al-Shawaf, L., Barbato, M., Batres, C.,... & Murray, D. R. (2022). Experimental and cross-cultural evidence that parenthood and parental care motives increase social conservatism. Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Kowal, M., Sorokowski, P., Pisanski, K.,... Batres, C.,... & Mišetić, K. (2022). Predictors of enhancing human physical attractiveness: Data from 93 countries. Evolution and Human Behavior.


Batres, C., & Shiramizu, V. (2022). Examining the “attractiveness halo effect” across cultures. Current Psychology.


Hlay, J.K., Albert, G., Batres, C.,... & Hodges-Simeon, C.R. (2022). Disgust sensitivity predicts sociosexuality across cultures. Evolution and Human Behavior.


Legate, N., Ngyuen, T.V., Weinstein, N.,... Batres, C.,... & Primbs, M. (2022). A global experiment on motivating social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Bago, B., Kovacs, M., Protzko, J.,... Batres, C.,... & Aczel, B. (2022). Situational factors shape moral judgements in the trolley dilemma in Eastern, Southern and Western countries in a culturally diverse sample. Nature Human Behaviour.


Landy, J. F., Rottman, J., Batres, C., & Leimgruber, K. L. (2021). Disgusting Democrats and repulsive Republicans: Members of political outgroups are considered physically gross. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.


Boothroyd, L.G., Jucker, J. L., Thornborrow, T., Tovee, M.J., Batres, C., & Penton-Voak, I. (2021). Testing mate choice hypotheses in a transitional small scale population. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology.


Wang, K., Goldenberg, A., Dorison, C.A.,... Batres, C.,... & Moshontz, H. (2021). A multi-country test of brief reappraisal interventions on emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nature Human Behaviour.


Walter, K.V., Conroy-Beam, D., Buss, D.M.,... Batres, C.,... & Zupančič, M. (2021). Sex differences in human mate preferences vary across sex ratios. Proceedings of the Royal Society B.


Batres, C., Porcheron, A., Courrèges, S., & Russell, R. (2021). Professional versus self-applied makeup: Do makeup artists add value? Perception.

Hlay, J.K., Albert, G., Batres, C., Richardson, G., Placek, C., Arnocky, S., Lieberman, D., & Hodges-Simeon, C. R. (2021). The evolution of disgust for pathogen detection and avoidance. Scientific Reports.


Sorokowska, A., Saluja, S., Sorokowski, P.,... Batres, C.,... & Croy, I. (2021). Affective interpersonal touch in close relationships: A cross-cultural perspective. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.


Jones, B.C., DeBruine, L.M., Flake, J.K.,... Batres, C.,... & Coles, N.A. (2021). To which world regions does the valence–dominance model of social perception apply? Nature Human Behaviour.


Sorokowski, P., Sorokowska, A., Karwowski, M., ... Batres, C.,... & Sternberg, R.J. (2020). Universality of the triangular theory of love: adaptation and psychometric properties of the triangular love scale in 25 countries. The Journal of Sex Research.


Batres, C., & Russell, R. (2020). Examining the influence of cosmetics on jury decisions. Cosmetics.


Batres C. (2020). Cultural differences in mate preferences. Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science.


Walter, K. V., Conroy-Beam, D., Buss, D. M., Asao, K.,... Batres, C.,... & Amjad, N. (2020). Sex differences in mate preferences across 45 countries: a large-scale replicationPsychological Science.


Batres, C., Jones, B. C., & Perrett, D. I. (2020). Attraction to men and women predicts sexual dimorphism preferences. International Journal of Sexual Health.


Russell, R., Batres, C., Jones, A., & Porcheron, A. (2019). A role for contrast gain control in skin appearanceJournal of Vision.


Conroy-Beam, D., Buss, D. M., Asao, K., Sorokowska, A.,... Batres, C.,... & Zupancic, M. (2019). Contrasting computational models of mate preference integration across 45 countriesScientific Reports.


Batres C. (2019). Sexual infidelity versus emotional infidelity. Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science.


Borras, M. L., Batres, C., & Perrett, D. I. (2019). Fear of violence among Colombian women is associated with reduced preferences for high-BMI menHuman Nature.

Conroy-Beam, D., Roney, J. R., Lukaszewski, A. W., Buss, D. M.,... Batres, C.,... & Alm, C. (2019). Assortative mating and the evolution of desirability covariationEvolution and Human Behavior.


Batres, C., Porcheron, A., Latreille, J., Roche, M., Morizot, F., & Russell, R. (2019). Cosmetics increase skin evenness: Evidence from perceptual and physical measuresSkin Research & Technology.


Batres, C., & Perrett, D. I. (2019). Pathogen disgust sensitivity changes according to the perceived harshness of the environment. Cognition and Emotion.


Batres, C., Kramer, S. S., DeAngelis, C. G., & Russell, R. (2019). Examining the ‘cosmetics placebo effect’. PloS ONE.


Moshontz, H., Campbell, L., Ebersole, C. R.,... Batres, C.,... & Flake, J. K. (2018). The Psychological Science Accelerator: advancing psychology through a distributed collaborative network. Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science.


Batres, C., Porcheron, A., Kaminski, G., Courrèges, S., Morizot, F., & Russell, R. (2018). Evidence that the hormonal contraceptive pill is associated with cosmetic habits. Frontiers in Psychology.

Russell, R., Batres, C., Courrèges, S., Kaminski, G., Soppelsa, F., Morizot, F., & Porcheron, A. (2018). Differential effects of makeup on perceived age. British Journal of Psychology.


Borras Guevara M.L., & Batres C. (2018). Male Protection. Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science.


Batres, C., Russell, R., Simpson, J. A., Campbell, L., Milroy A. M., & Cronk, L. (2018). Evidence that makeup is a false signal of sociosexualityPersonality and Individual Differences.

Batres, C., Borras-Guevara, M.L., & Perrett, D.I. (2018). Collecting data cross-culturally: Methodological challenges that arise when testing non-WEIRD populationsSAGE Research Methods Cases.​​

Borras, M. L., Batres, C., & Perrett, D. I. (2017). Domestic violence shapes Colombian women's partner choicesBehavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.

​Jones, A., Batres, C., Porcheron, A., Sweda, J., Morizot, F., & Russell, R. (2017). Positive facial affect looks healthyVisual Cognition.

Batres, C., Kannan, M., & Perrett, D.I. (2017). Familiarity with own population's appearance influences facial preferencesHuman Nature.

Borras, M. L., Batres, C., & Perrett, D. I. (2017). Aggressor or protector? Experiences and perceptions of violence predict preferences for masculinity. Evolution and Human Behavior.

Watkins, C. D., Nicholls, M. J., Batres, C., Xiao, D., Talamas, S., & Perrett, D. I. (2017). Own attractiveness and perceived relationship quality shape sensitivity in women’s memory for other men on the attractiveness dimension. Cognition.

Batres, C., & Perrett, D.I. (2016). How the harsh environment of an army training camp changes human (Homo sapiens) facial preferencesEthology.

Batres, C., & Perrett, D.I. (2016). Early menarche is associated with preference for masculine male faces and younger preferred age to have a first childEvolutionary Psychology.


Batres, C., Re, D.E., & Perrett, D.I. (2015) Influence of perceived height, masculinity, and age on each other and on perceptions of dominance in male facesPerception.


Batres, C., & Perrett, D.I. (2014). The influence of the digital divide on face preferences in El Salvador: people without internet access prefer more feminine men, more masculine women, and women with higher adiposityPLoS ONE.


Course Information 

Evolutionary Psychology

 An introduction to how evolution has shaped many different traits and behaviors. This course will focus on natural and sexual selection, with a greater emphasis on aspects of human behavior. Specific topics covered will include adaptive solutions to survival (e.g., emotions of fear, disgust) and mating (e.g., partner preferences, jealousy).

Design and Statistics

 This course will familiarize students with the research methods and statistical procedures used in psychology. In the lecture, we will focus primarily on the description, analysis, and interpretation of data. In the lab, we will examine what methods are best suited for answering which research questions and deploy these methods to answer questions. When you complete this course, you should have the knowledge to think critically about the results of research you encounter in your everyday life and the skills to perform scientific studies of your own.

Face Perception with a Laboratory

 An introduction to the study of face perception. This course focuses on the processes which are involved in the perception and recognition of human faces. Specific topics covered include how facial traits influence judgments and the variability in face processing abilities.

Ethics and Experimentation

What is ethical when it comes to science? The answer to that question can vary depending on the test subjects (e.g., humans, rats), location (e.g., institutional review board protocols in that country), and time (e.g., current day, 1950s). While discussing this question and considering ethical dilemmas, students will develop skills of reading, speaking, writing, critical thinking, and research/ information literacy.