bims-chumac Biomed News
on Context effects on human mate choice
Issue of 2020‒05‒31
six papers selected by
Jay Dixit
Storytelling.NYC


  1. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 May 22. pii: E3653. [Epub ahead of print]17(10):
    Castro Á, Barrada JR, Ramos-Villagrasa PJ, Fernández-Del-Río E.
      The development of new technologies, the expansion of the Internet, and the emergence of dating apps (e.g., Tinder, Grindr) in recent years have changed the way to meet and approach potential romantic and/or sexual partners. The recent phenomenon has led to some gaps in the literature on individual differences (sociodemographic variables and personality traits) between users (previous and current users) and non-users of dating apps. Thus, the aim of this study was to analyze the relationship between using dating apps, sociodemographics (gender, age, sexual orientation, and relationship status), and bright and dark personality traits. Participants were 1705 university students (70% women, 30% men), aged between 18 and 26 (M = 20.60, SD = 2.09), who completed several online questionnaires. Through multinomial logistic regression analyses, it was found that men, older youth, and members of sexual minorities were more likely to be current and previous dating apps users. Being single and higher scores in open-mindedness were associated with higher probability to be current dating apps user. The dark personality showed no predictive ability. The discussion highlights the usefulness of knowing and considering the sociodemographic background and the characteristics of personality patterns in the design and implementation of preventive and promotion programs of healthy romantic and sexual relationships to improve people's better health and well-being.
    Keywords:  Big Five; Dark Core; Grindr; Tinder; dating apps; university students
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103653
  2. Br J Psychol. 2020 May 25.
    Lei X, Perrett D.
      Thin and muscular have been characterized as ideals for women and men, respectively. Little research has investigated whether men and women have accurate perceptions of opposite-sex preferences of thinness and muscularity. Further, no study has explored whether opposite-sex perceptions of thinness and muscularity preferences differ for short-term and long-term relationships. The present study set out to address these questions. We used interactive 3D human models to represent bodies varying in size (body mass index/BMI weight scaled by height) and body composition. University-aged (18-31) White European heterosexual men and women were asked to choose their own and ideal body shape, the ideal body shape for a short- and a long-term partner, and the body shape they thought the opposite-sex would most like for short- and long-term partners. Women overestimated the thinness that men prefer in a partner and men overestimated the heaviness and muscularity that women prefer in a partner. These misperceptions were more exaggerated for short-term relationships than for long-term relationships. The results illustrate the importance of investigating misperceptions of opposite-sex preferences and raise the possibility that correcting misperceptions might have utility in reducing body dissatisfaction or eating disorders.
    Keywords:  attractiveness; body size; misperception; muscularity; preferences
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1111/bjop.12451
  3. Psychol Sci. 2020 May 27. 956797620919674
    Kerr LG, Tissera H, McClure MJ, Lydon JE, Back MD, Human LJ.
      Viewing other people with distinctive accuracy-the degree to which personality impressions correspond with targets' unique characteristics-often predicts positive interpersonal experiences, including liking and relationship satisfaction. Does this hold in the context of first dates, or might distinctive accuracy have negative links with romantic interest in such evaluative settings? We examined this question using two speed-dating samples (Sample 1: N = 172, N = 2,407 dyads; Sample 2: N = 397, N = 1,849 dyads). Not surprisingly, positive impressions of potential dating partners were strongly associated with greater romantic interest. In contrast, distinctively accurate impressions were associated with significantly less romantic interest. This association was even stronger for potential partners whose personalities were less romantically appealing, specifically, those lower in extraversion. In sum, on a first date, distinctive accuracy tends to be paired with lower romantic interest. The potential implications of distinctive accuracy for romantic interest and of romantic interest for distinctive accuracy are discussed.
    Keywords:  attraction; distinctive accuracy; extraversion; first impressions; open data; open materials; positivity; speed dating
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797620919674
  4. Trends Ecol Evol. 2020 May 22. pii: S0169-5347(20)30117-8. [Epub ahead of print]
    Munson AA, Jones C, Schraft H, Sih A.
      Consistent individual differences in behavior [i.e., behavioral types (BTs)], are common across the animal kingdom. Consistency can make behavior an adaptive trait for mate choice decisions. Here, we present a conceptual framework to explain how and why females might evaluate a male's BT before mating. Because BTs are consistent across time or context, a male's BT can be a reliable indicator of his potential to provide direct benefits. Heritable BTs can enable informed mate choice via indirect benefits. Many key issues regarding patterns of mate choice, including sensory biases, context dependence, and assortative mating apply to BT-dependent mate choice. Understanding the relationship between BTs and mate choice may offer insights into patterns of variation and consistency common in behavioral traits.
    Keywords:  animal personality; assortative mating; behavioral syndrome; behavioral type; mate choice; sexual selection
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2020.04.010
  5. Psychol Res. 2020 May 25.
    Mertens A, Hepp J, Voss A, Hische A.
      Empirical findings predominantly support a happiness superiority effect in visual search and emotion categorization paradigms and reveal that social cues, like sex and race, moderate this advantage. A more recent study showed that the facial attribute attractiveness also influences the accuracy and speed of emotion perception. In the current study, we investigated whether the influence of attractiveness on emotion perception translates into a more general evaluation of moods when more than one emotional target is presented. In two experiments, we used the mood-of-the-crowd (MoC) task to investigate whether attractive crowds are perceived more positively compared to less attractive crowds. The task was to decide whether an array of faces included more angry or more happy faces. Furthermore, we recorded gaze movements to test the assumption that fixations on happy expressions occur more often in attractive crowds. Thirty-four participants took part in experiment 1 as well as in experiment 2. In both experiments, crowds presenting attractive faces were judged as being happy more frequently whereas the reverse pattern was found for unattractive crowds of faces. Moreover, participants were faster and more accurate when evaluating attractive crowds containing more happy faces as well as when judging unattractive crowds composed of more angry expressions. Additionally, in experiment 1, there were more fixations on happy compared to angry expressions in attractive crowds. Overall, the present findings support the assumption that attractiveness moderates emotion perception.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00426-020-01360-x
  6. Front Psychol. 2020 ;11 634
    Acevedo BP, Poulin MJ, Collins NL, Brown LL.
      In Western culture, romantic love is commonly a basis for marriage. Although it is associated with relationship satisfaction, stability, and individual well-being, many couples experience declines in romantic love. In newlyweds, specifically, changes in love predict marital outcomes. However, the biological mechanisms underlying the critical transition to marriage are unknown. Thus, for the first time, we explored the neural and genetic correlates of romantic love in newlyweds. Nineteen first-time newlyweds were scanned (with functional MRI) while viewing face images of the partner versus a familiar acquaintance, around the time of the wedding (T1) and 1 year after (T2). They also provided saliva samples for genetic analysis (AVPR1a rs3, OXTR rs53576, COMT rs4680, and DRD4-7R), and completed self-report measures of relationship quality including the Eros (romantic love) scale. We hypothesized that romantic love is a developed form of the mammalian drive to find, and keep, preferred mates; and that its maintenance is orchestrated by the brain's reward system. Results showed that, at both time points, romantic love maintenance (Eros difference score: T2-T1) was associated with activation of the dopamine-rich substantia nigra in response to face images of the partner. Interactions with vasopressin, oxytocin, and dopamine genes implicated in pair-bonding (AVPR1a rs3, OXTR rs53576, COMT rs4680, and DRD4-7R) also conferred strong activation in the dopamine-rich ventral tegmental area at both time points. Consistent with work highlighting the role of sexual intimacy in relationships, romantic love maintenance showed correlations in the paracentral lobule (genital region) and cortical areas involved in sensory and cognitive processing (occipital, angular gyrus, insular cortex). These findings suggest that romantic love, and its maintenance, are orchestrated by dopamine-, vasopressin- and oxytocin-rich brain regions, as seen in humans and other monogamous animals. We also provide genetic evidence of polymorphisms associated with oxytocin, vasopressin and dopamine function that affect the propensity to sustain romantic love in early stage marriages. We conclude that romantic love maintenance is part of a broad mammalian strategy for reproduction and long-term attachment that is influenced by basic reward circuitry, complex cognitive processes, and genetic factors.
    Keywords:  dopamine; fMRI; marriage; pair-bonds; romantic love
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00634