bims-chumac Biomed News
on Context effects on human mate choice
Issue of 2020‒03‒08
ten papers selected by
Jay Dixit

  1. Psychol Sci. 2020 Mar 04. 956797619882022
    Stern J, Gerlach TM, Penke L.
      The existence of ovulatory-cycle shifts in women's mate preferences has been a point of controversy. There is evidence that naturally cycling women in their fertile phase, compared with their luteal phase, evaluate specific behavioral cues in men as more attractive for sexual relationships. However, recent research has cast doubt on these findings. We addressed this debate in a large, preregistered, within-participants study using salivary-hormone measures and luteinizing-hormone tests. One hundred fifty-seven female participants rated the sexual and long-term attractiveness of 70 men in dyadic intersexual interactions in natural videos. Multilevel comparisons across two ovulatory cycles indicated that women's mate preferences for men's behaviors did not shift across the cycle for either competitive or courtship behavior. Within-women hormone levels and relationship status did not affect these results. Hormonal mechanisms and implications for estrus theories are discussed.
    Keywords:  attractiveness; fertility; mate preferences; open data; open materials; ovulatory cycle; preregistered; steroid hormones
  2. Evol Psychol. 2020 Jan-Mar;18(1):18(1): 1474704920910403
    Marshall P, Bartolacci A, Burke D.
      Previous research has shown that manipulating the pitch of a face (tilting the face upward or downward) affects the perceived femininity, masculinity, attractiveness, and dominance of the given face. However, previous research has not considered the influence of direct eye gaze on dominance perceptions or the ambiguity surrounding the proposed social signals sent from a static face. The current research used 94 participants across two studies (women = 63%, age: M = 31). Stimuli varied in head pitch angle, eye gaze, and motion/static appearance. Participants rated the stimuli for levels of masculinity, femininity, attractiveness, and dominance. Both studies confirmed that pitching the face upward at incrementally increasing angles resulted in a linear increase in ratings of masculinity, physical dominance, and social dominance and a linear decrease in ratings of femininity, physical attractiveness, and behavioral allure. Study 2 showed that these effects can be dependent on either the perceived structural change of the face or the actual movement of the face, and these are different for each rating category. The perceived dimorphism, attractiveness, and dominance of a face will change dependent on the angle of pitch it is presented but also whether it is moving or not, where it is moving in space, and what direction it is moving.
    Keywords:  attractiveness; dominance; facial dimorphism; perception; sexual selection; social signal
  3. PLoS One. 2020 ;15(3): e0229337
    Stöckli S, Hofer D.
      Susceptibility to social influence (SSI) has been reported as a key factor for social influence in online social networks (OSNs) such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. In four online studies, we show that the personality trait of SSI, namely the susceptibility to normative influence (SNI), predicts the extent to which Facebook users comply with the behavior of others on Facebook (e.g., buying, voting, or visiting what other OSN users post). In Studies 1a and 1b, we find that SSI correlates with diverse OSN behaviors, which are the typical results of being affected by social influence. In Study 1b, we find that the perceived importance of the topic of OSN behaviors (e.g., fashion or politics) moderates the effect of SNI on OSN behavior, with a higher importance resulting in a stronger effect of SNI on OSN behavior. In Studies 2 and 3, we find that SNI predicts the extent Facebook users hypothetically "like" diverse topics on Facebook. We also find partial support for the idea that there are interactions between SNI and the Big Five personality traits (i.e., openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism) on OSN behavior. Specifically, the extent to which the Big Five personality traits of openness, agreeableness, and neuroticism predict OSN behavior depends on Facebook users' SNI. Our studies contribute to research on the personality-based prediction of OSN behavior and help in better understanding the dynamics of social influence in OSNs, underlining the vulnerability of susceptible OSN users.
  4. Front Psychol. 2020 ;11 16
    Garcia D, Rosenberg P, Nima AA, Granjard A, Cloninger KM, Sikström S.
      Background: If individual differences are relevant and prominent features of personality, then they are expected to be encoded in natural language, thus manifesting themselves in single words. Recently, the quantification of text data using advanced natural language processing techniques offers innovative opportunities to map people's own words and narratives to their responses to self-reports. Here, we demonstrate the usefulness of self-descriptions in natural language and what we tentatively call Quantitative Semantic Test Theory (QuSTT) to validate two short inventories that measure character traits.Method: In Study 1, participants (N 1 = 997) responded to the Short Character Inventory, which measures self-directedness, cooperativeness, and self-transcendence. In Study 2, participants (N 2 = 2373) responded to Short Dark Triad, which measures Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy. In both studies, respondents were asked to generate 10 self-descriptive words. We used the Latent Semantic Algorithm to quantify the meaning of each trait using the participants' self-descriptive words. We then used these semantic representations to predict the self-reported scores. In a second set of analyses, we used word-frequency analyses to map the self-descriptive words to each of the participants' trait scores (i.e., one-dimensional analysis) and character profiles (i.e., three-dimensional analysis).
    Results: The semantic representation of each character trait was related to each corresponding self-reported score. However, participants' self-transcendence and Machiavellianism scores demonstrated similar relationships to all three semantic representations of the character traits in their respective personality model. The one-dimensional analyses showed that, for example, "loving" was indicative of both high cooperativeness and self-transcendence, while "compassionate," "kind," and "caring" was unique for individuals high in cooperativeness. The words "kind" and "caring" indicated low levels of Machiavellianism and psychopathy, whereas "shy" or "introvert" indicated low narcissism. We also found specific keywords that unify or that make the individuals in some profiles unique.
    Conclusion: Despite being short, both inventories capture individuals' identity as expected. Nevertheless, our method also points out some shortcomings and overlaps between traits measured with these inventories. We suggest that self-descriptive words can be quantified to validate measures of psychological constructs (e.g., prevalence in self-descriptions or QuSTT) and that this method may complement traditional methods for testing the validity of psychological measures.
    Keywords:  character; identity; narrative self; personality; quantitative semantic test theory
  5. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Feb 29. pii: E1569. [Epub ahead of print]17(5):
    Sánchez-Fuentes MDM, Moyano N, Gómez-Berrocal C, Sierra JC.
      The Sexual Double Standard (SDS) is an instrument used to judge sexual behavior, in which men are usually granted greater sexual freedom, while the same sexual behavior is condemned in women. Culture can be a relevant variable for the SDS. Therefore, we have examined the measurement invariance of the Sexual Double Standard Scale (SDSS) across the Spanish and Colombian populations, comparing this phenomenon by country and gender. The scale comprises two factors: sexual freedom and sexual shyness. The sample consisted of 1832 heterosexual adults (46.3% men, 53.7% women), 54.3% of whom were Spanish and 45.7% Colombian. Strong invariance was found. The reliability values were good for country and gender. Men and women from both countries supported greater freedom for themselves compared to the other gender. Furthermore, Spanish women, unlike their Colombian counterparts, supported greater sexual shyness for men. Thus, what some authors have labeled as a "reverse sexual double standard" seems to emerge.
    Keywords:  Sexual Double Standard; culture; invariance; sex
  6. Iperception. 2020 Jan-Feb;11(1):11(1): 2041669520902484
    Jonauskaite D, Parraga CA, Quiblier M, Mohr C.
      For many, colours convey affective meaning. Popular opinion assumes that perception of colour is crucial to influence emotions. However, scientific studies test colour-emotion relationships by presenting colours as patches or terms. When using patches, researchers put great effort into colour presentation. When using terms, researchers have much less control over the colour participants think of. In this between-subjects study, we tested whether emotion associations with colour differ between terms and patches. Participants associated 20 emotion concepts, loading on valence, arousal, and power dimensions, with 12 colours presented as patches (n = 54) or terms (n = 78). We report high similarity in the pattern of associations of specific emotion concepts with terms and patches (r = .82), for all colours except purple (r = .-23). We also observed differences for black, which is associated with more negative emotions and of higher intensity when presented as a term than a patch. Terms and patches differed little in terms of valence, arousal, and power dimensions. Thus, results from studies on colour-emotion relationships using colour terms or patches should be largely comparable. It is possible that emotions are associated with colour concepts rather than particular perceptions or words of colour.
    Keywords:  Geneva Emotion Wheel; affect; colour; metaphors; semantic associations
  7. J Pers Assess. 2020 Mar 04. 1-9
    Collison KL, South S, Vize CE, Miller JD, Lynam DR.
      Research suggests that men and women differ on mean levels of Dark Triad personality constructs such as Machiavellianism, but few studies have investigated whether or not these differences are due to actual latent trait differences or bias in measurement. Further, recent research suggests important challenges associated with existing measures of MACH in terms of overlap with psychopathy and matching expert descriptions. The present study took a recently developed measure of Machiavellianism (the Five Factor Machiavellianism Inventory; FFMI), based on the five-factor model, and examined its invariance across gender. Strong (or scalar) factorial invariance was established, indicating that latent factor means can be compared between men and women using this measure. Mean-level differences showed that men had higher levels of latent factors related to antagonism and social dominance. In terms of total score, men reported significantly higher mean levels of Machiavellianism. The findings of the present study lend support to the notion that mean level differences in Machiavellianism across gender are not artifacts of measurement bias.
  8. Cogn Emot. 2020 Mar 03. 1-16
    Maldei T, Baumann N, Koole SL.
      People can intuitively distinguish semantically coherent from incoherent word triads, even without knowing the common denominator. Drawing on cognitive linguistics, the present authors suggest that intuitive coherence judgments are driven by the thematic relations of the triad words. Words are thematically related when they perform different roles in the same scenario (e.g. CHICKEN and EGG are related via a production theme). Thematic relations differ from associations (CHICKEN and LITTLE are associated with a Disney movie) and taxonomic relations, which specify common attributes between concepts (CHICKEN and SPARROW are both birds). Consistent with the thematic integration model, word triads with thematic (rather than taxonomic) relations were more often judged as coherent (Study 1). Moreover, priming thematic (rather than taxonomic) processing led to more intuitive coherence judgments of word triads (Study 2). In three published datasets, thematic relations between triads' word pairs predicted over half of the variance in intuitive coherence judgments (Study 3). Finally, when the existence of a common denominator and thematic relations were independently manipulated, thematic relations drove intuitive coherence judgments (Study 4). These findings demonstrate that intuition draws on people's thematic knowledge about the world.
    Keywords:  Semantic coherence task; intuition; thematic relations
  9. Conscious Cogn. 2020 Feb 28. pii: S1053-8100(19)30454-4. [Epub ahead of print]80 102902
    Kuhn G, Pailhès A, Lan Y.
      Magicians have developed powerful tools to covertly force a spectator to choose a specific card. We investigate the physical location force, in which four cards (from left to right: 1-2-3-4) are placed face-down on the table in a line, after which participants are asked to push out one card. The force is thought to rely on a behavioural bias in that people are more likely to choose the third card from their left. Participants felt that their choice was extremely free, yet 60% selected the 3rd card. There was no significant difference in estimates and feelings of freedom between those who chose the target card (i.e. 3rd card) and those who selected a different card, and they underestimated the actual proportion of people who selected the target card. These results illustrate that participants' behaviour was heavily biased towards choosing the third card, but were oblivious to this bias.
    Keywords:  Decision making; Forcing; Free will; Magic; Persuasion; Sense of agency; Volition
  10. Br J Soc Psychol. 2020 Mar 06.
    Ulqinaku A, Sarial-Abi G, Kinsella EL, Igou ER.
      Antiheroes are characters that share features with both heroes and villains, typified as selfish and rule breakers, but who end up doing something good for society. In this research, we examined how priming people with antiheroes (vs. heroes) affected their sensation seeking. We reason that antiheroes (vs. heroes) are more associated with temporally close (vs. past and future) events. Given that sensation seeking is related to being focused on the present (vs. past or future), we hypothesized that if people are primed with antiheroes (vs. heroes) they are more likely to seek sensation. Findings from a series of five experimental studies provide insights into the effect of priming with an antihero on people's sensation seeking, providing directions for future research in psychology and practical applications in the areas of marketing strategy and consumer behaviour.
    Keywords:  antiheroes; heroes; person perception; sensation seeking; temporal focus