Susan Hughes, Ph.D. – Albright College

Susan Hughes, Ph.D.

Susan Hughes, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology, Director of Evolutionary Studies Program, Psychology Department Chair
102 Teel Hall

B.S. Psychobiology, Binghamton University, State University of New York
Ph.D. Biopsychology, University at Albany, State University of New York

Areas of Expertise

  • Evolutionary Psychology
  • Biopsychology
  • Voice Attractiveness and Analyses
  • Mate Selection and Attraction
  • Mating/Sexual Behaviors

Areas of Research

Evolutionary Psychology is a field that examines how the physiology, behavior, and psychology of modern human beings have been shaped by our ancestral past, and considers different human traits as evolved adaptations. Areas of research within this field often focus on human mating strategies and sex differences, with topics specifically relating to: mate choice; attraction; biological differences between the sexes; human reproduction; breeding patterns across species; jealousy and infidelity, physical markers of fitness; hormonal influences on behavior; selection; inclusive fitness; and social order and interaction.

  • Voice Attractiveness and Analyses

My research has an emphasis on the study of the human voice. I explore the idea that voice has evolved to be more than a natural mechanism for communicating semantic information through speech.  The sound of an individual’s voice, irrespective of content, can convey a host of social, behavioral, and biological information about a speaker. I examine how the sound of our voice can relay information about our physical appearance, our attractiveness, and even our sexual behavior and mating success, as well as many of other traits. I also study how we manipulate the sound of our voice when speaking to others, particularly toward those to whom we are attracted or in a romantic relationship. I investigate voice attractiveness, vocal stereotypes, and what we think about the sound of our own voices.

  • Mate Selection and Attraction

I also examine features that influence attraction and mate selection. For instance, I have studied how certain facial and body measures relate to attractiveness, women’s preferences for male provisioning and resources, and sexual orientation.

  • Mating/Sexual Behaviors

Another research interest of mine is to explore mating and sexual behaviors from an evolutionary perspective. I have examined such aspects as sex differences in kissing behavior; sex differences during post-coital time; preferences for certain sexual partners; and I have examined how certain physical features and vocal characteristics are related to sexual behaviors.

Select Publications on Voice:


Select Publications on Attraction and Mate Selection:


Select Publications on Mating Behaviors:

Representative Presentations:

  • Hughes, S. M., Aung, T., & Harrison, M. A., (June 2-5, 2016). Modern day female preferences for resources and provisioning by long-term mates. Northeastern Evolutionary Society (NEEPS) Annual Conference, St. Mary’s University, Nova Scotia, Canada.
  • Hughes, S. M., & Harrison, M. A., (April 9-12, 2015). Looking good, sounding better: Face attractiveness moderates voice attractiveness. Northeastern Evolutionary Society (NEEPS) Annual Conference, Suffolk University, Boston, MA.
  • Hughes, S. M., Miller, N. E., Harrison, M. A. (May 22-25, 2014). What-sounds-beautiful-looks-beautiful stereotype: The matching of attractive and unattractive voices and faces. Association for Psychological Science (APS) Conference, San Francisco, CA.
  • Hughes, S. M., Morrow, S. & Harrison, M. A. (May 31-June 2, 2013). Your cheatin’ voice will tell on you.  North Eastern Evolutionary Psychology Society (NEEPS), Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA.
  • Hughes, S. M., & Harrison, M. A. (Jan 16, 2013).  Perceived sexual orientation related to attractiveness for females, not males. The Society of Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Evolutionary Preconference, New Orleans, LA.
  • Hughes, S. M., Mogilski, J. K. & Harrison, M. A. (May 23-27, 2012).  An examination of the physical properties of intentional voice manipulations. Association for Psychological Science (APS) Conference, Chicago, IL.
  • Hughes, S. M. & Harrison, M. A. (June 16-20, 2010). Self-assessment of vocal mate value. Human Behavior and Evolution (HBES) 22st Annual Conference, University of Oregon, Eugene OR.
  • Hughes, S. M., Pich, D. & Nicholson, S. E. (May 30-June 3, 2007). Independent voice ratings and digit ratio (2D:4D) in children. Human Behavior and Evolution Society (HBES) 19th Annual Conference, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA.
  • Hughes, S. M., Pipitone, R. N., Harrison, M. A., & Gallup, G. G., Jr. (June 7-11, 2006). The golden mean ratio: Facial measures predict FA, health, and behavior. Human Behavior and Evolution Society (HBES) 18th Annual Conference, University of Pennsylvania/Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA.

Courses Taught

  • PSY 100: General Psychology
  • PSY 200: Research Design and Analysis I
  • PSY 201: Research Design and Analysis II
  • PSY 205: Biological Psychology
  • PSY 319: Evolutionary Psychology
  • PSY 330: Human Sexuality
  • PSY 355: Motivation
  • PSY 405/6: Senior Seminar in Psychology/Psychobiology
    • Seminar Topics: Evolution and Human Sexuality, Topics in Biopsychology