bims-chumac Biomed News
on Context effects on human mate choice
Issue of 2020‒02‒02
seven papers selected by
Jay Dixit

  1. Psychiatr Psychol Law. 2019 ;26(4): 669-681
    Beaver KM, Boccio C, Smith S, Ferguson CJ.
      A substantial body of research examining the role that attractiveness plays in a wide range of outcomes has revealed that attractiveness is a beneficial characteristic across multiple domains of life, including some related to crime and the criminal justice system. The current study uses these findings as a springboard to examine the potential association between attractiveness and multiple measures of criminal justice processing, including being arrested, being convicted, being sentenced to probation and being incarcerated. Analysis of data drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health revealed that more attractive persons were less likely to be arrested and convicted than less attractive persons, but there was no association with odds of being sentenced to probation or incarcerated. Follow-up analyses revealed that the beneficial effect of being attractive was confined solely to females. We discuss possible reasons for these results and provide suggestions for future research.
    Keywords:  Attractiveness; National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health; criminal justice; females; males
  2. J Sex Marital Ther. 2020 Jan 25. 1-11
    Luterman A, Farisello L, Kilimnik CD.
      There are few models of sex therapy designed specifically for working with relationships in which one or more partners have a history of sexual trauma. The Relationship Shared Values Primer (RSVP) to sex and relationship therapies is a pre-sex therapy psychoeducation with the goal of promoting buy-in and reducing attrition by fostering safety and connection prior to beginning the therapeutic work through a dialogue of four key values: (1) Intimate Justice, (2) Non-linear Healing, (3) Mindful Acceptance, and (4) Erotic Empathy. We discuss research support for the rationale of the RSVP, how the RSVP can mitigate current obstacles to working with this population, and present a case study of the RSVP application.
  3. Cognition. 2020 Jan 27. pii: S0010-0277(20)30020-2. [Epub ahead of print]197 104201
    Lewis MB.
      Although it remains contentious, women's changeable attraction to masculine faces has been used to inform evolutionary ideas about human mating strategies. Typical experiments in this area use two-alternative-forced-choice (2afc) over a few pairs of similar images. The reliability of these measures is analysed suggesting that many studies have too few trials to be reliable. In the current experiment, fertility shifts in preferences for masculinised faces (and Africanised faces) were explored using both attractiveness ratings and a 2afc method over 80 pairs. The 2afc method showed a fertility shift in preferences whereas attractiveness ratings did not show a shift. Further, it was demonstrated how the size of the preferences shown in the 2afc tasks correlated with general face-matching performance. It is concluded that fertility is associated with improved face-processing accuracy and hence 2afc designs have poor validity as measures of masculinity preference. These issues of validity and reliability may have contributed to the contentious nature of fertility effects on preferences. Further, validity and reliability need to be considered in any study where a change in preference is identified using a comparative-preference task.
    Keywords:  2afc preferences; Masculinity; Mate preferences; Menstrual cycle; Racial features
  4. Trends Ecol Evol. 2020 Jan 27. pii: S0169-5347(19)30344-1. [Epub ahead of print]
    McCoy DE, Haig D.
      When a measure becomes a target, it often ceases to be a good measure - an effect familiar from the declining usefulness of standardized testing in schools. This economic principle also applies to mate choice and, perhaps surprisingly, pregnancy. Just as females screen potential mates under many metrics, human mothers unconsciously screen embryos for quality. 'Examinees' are under intense selection to improve test performance by exaggerating formerly 'honest' signals of quality. Examiners must change their screening criteria to maintain useful information (but cannot abandon old criteria unilaterally). By the resulting 'proxy treadmill', new honest indicators arise while old degraded indicators linger, resulting in trait elaboration and exaggeration. Hormone signals during pregnancy show extreme evolutionary escalation (akin to elaborate mating displays).
    Keywords:  Campbell’s law; Goodhart’s law; arms race; honest signaling; mate choice; parent–offspring conflict; pregnancy; sexual selection
  5. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2020 Jan 30.
    Roberts SO, Weisman K, Lane JD, Williams A, Camp NP, Wang M, Robison M, Sanchez K, Griffiths C.
      In the United States, God is commonly conceptualized as the omnipotent and omniscient entity that created the universe, and as a White man. We questioned whether the extent to which God is conceptualized as a White man predicts the extent to which White men are perceived as particularly fit for leadership. We found support for this across 7 studies. In Study 1, we created 2 measures to examine the extent to which U.S. Christians conceptualized God as a White man, and in Study 2 we found that, controlling for multiple covariates (e.g., racist and sexist attitudes, religiosity, political attitudes), responses on these measures predicted perceiving White male job candidates as particularly fit for leadership, among both Black and White, male and female, Christians. In Study 3, we found that U.S. Christian children, both White and racial minority, conceptualized God as more White than Black (and more male than female), which predicted perceiving White people as particularly boss-like. We next found evidence to suggest that this phenomenon is rooted in broader intuitions that extend beyond Christianity. That is, in a novel context with novel groups and a novel god, U.S. Christian adults (Studies 4 and 6), atheist adults (Study 5), and agnostic preschoolers (Study 7), used a god's identity to infer which groups were best fit for leadership. Collectively, our data reveal a clear and consistent pattern: Attributing a social identity to God predicts perceiving individuals who share that identity as more fit for leadership. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
  6. J Soc Psychol. 2020 Jan 30. 1-11
    Hen M, Karsh N, Langer E, Shechter R.
      Cyber-pornography consumption has become a widespread behavioral habit, with potential diverse outcomes for the user. Previous studies have repeatedly found that males are exposed to cyber-pornography more than females, when they are asked about it explicitly. However, perceived social acceptance of cyber-pornography consumption may dramatically bias such explicit reports. The current study aimed at better understanding gender differences in exposure to cyber-pornography using both explicit self-report measures and a new measure developed to examine exposure to cyber-pornography indirectly. The findings demonstrated gender differences in exposure to cyber-pornography in both measures. Women tended to understate the extent of their exposure. Interestingly, men showed the opposite tendency. Lastly, perceived social acceptance mediated the relationship between gender and explicit report bias. We discuss the conclusions of the current study in relation to previous theories and findings, as well as the importance of using indirect measures to study socially controversial topics such as cyber-pornography.
    Keywords:  Cyber-pornography; gender; implicit exposure; social desirability
  7. J Appl Psychol. 2020 Jan 27.
    van Knippenberg D, Hirst G.
      The idea that individual creativity derives from the interaction of personal traits and the situation in which the individual operates, is one of the most prominent themes within the creativity literature. A review of the literature highlights 5 distinct interaction patterns observed in person-in-situation creativity research (trait activation, trait inhibition, trait substitution, trait channeling, and curvilinear interactions). Yet at present there is no integrative theory that can predict and explain all 5 interaction patterns. To develop such integrative theory, we propose the motivational lens model of person-in-situation creativity. The motivational lens model offers an integrative theoretical account of person-in-situation interactions through a parsimonious set of considerations: (a) whether the trait of interest is associated with intrinsic motivation for (activities conducive to) creativity or with extrinsic motivation (i.e., which can be directed toward creativity in response to extrinsic cues), (b) the extent to which the situation variable of interest reflects opportunities for creativity or expectations for creativity, and (c) whether the situation variable is linearly or curvilinearly related to opportunities or expectations. We discuss how the motivational lens model informs future creativity research and potentially person-in-situation research beyond the creativity domain. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).