Matching Items (14)

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Leaders at Face-Value

Description

Besides acquiring group status via dominance or force, as in other animals, human beings can acquire status via prestige, which follows from other group members valuing one’s expert knowledge. Past

Besides acquiring group status via dominance or force, as in other animals, human beings can acquire status via prestige, which follows from other group members valuing one’s expert knowledge. Past research has shown a preference for prestigious leaders over dominant leaders. That is, people prefer leaders who are expert over those who are domineering. In this research, I explored whether the preference for prestige over dominance applies to preferences for actual political figures with facial features that appear dominant or prestigious. I also asked whether the same links between dominance, prestige, and voter preference would hold for both men and women. American participants (recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk) rated European politicians’ faces on traits associated with prestige and dominance and indicated their likelihood of voting for this person as a governor of their state. Findings suggest ratings of both prestige is a strong predictor of leadership preference than dominance. However, strong correlations between variables suggest prestige and dominance are two closely related concepts. In addition, participants indicated a marginal to significant preference for female leaders, depending on their perceived dominance and prestigiousness.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Xenophilia: The preference for members of an outgroup

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This paper explores the idea of xenophilia and the circumstances under which it may occur. Xenophilia is the preference for an outgroup member over an ingroup member. This preference does

This paper explores the idea of xenophilia and the circumstances under which it may occur. Xenophilia is the preference for an outgroup member over an ingroup member. This preference does not have to be amicable, and in fact can be exploitative under certain circumstances. Previous research indicates that xenophobia is much more common, but a few researchers have found support for the existence of xenophilia. To experimentally test the circumstances under which xenophilia might occur, I conducted a survey-based experiment on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. This consisted of directed visualizations that manipulated participant goal (self-protection vs. mate acquisition) and the resources offered by both a fictitious outgroup and the hometown ingroup, followed by measures of ingroup/outgroup preference. I hypothesized that when the resource offered by the group addressed the participants’ goal, they would prefer the group with the “matched” resource—even if it was the outgroup providing that resource. My hypothesis was not supported, as the univariate analysis of variance for preference for the outgroup was not significant, F (2, 423) = .723, p = .486. This may have occurred because the goal manipulations were not strong enough to counteract the strong natural preference for ingroup members.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Feelin' Good...And Then Some: A Functional Evolutionary Approach to Positive Emotions in Sport

Description

Sport is a widespread phenomenon across human cultures and history. Unfortunately, positive emotions in sport have been long vaguely characterized as happy or pleasant, or ignored altogether. Recent emotion research

Sport is a widespread phenomenon across human cultures and history. Unfortunately, positive emotions in sport have been long vaguely characterized as happy or pleasant, or ignored altogether. Recent emotion research has taken a differentiated approach, however, suggesting there are distinct positive emotions with diverse implications for behavior. The present study applied this evolutionarily informed approach in the context of sport to examine which positive emotions are associated with play. It was hypothesized that pride, amusement, and enthusiasm, but not contentment or awe, would increase in Ultimate Frisbee players during a practice scrimmage. Further, it was hypothesized that increases in pride and amusement during practice would be differentially associated with sport outcomes, including performance (scores, assists, and defenses), subjective social connectedness, attributions of success, and attitudes toward the importance of practice. It was found that all positive emotions decreased during practice. It was also found that increases in pride were associated with more scores and greater social connectedness, whereas increases in amusement were associated with more assists. The present study was one of the first to examine change in positive emotions during play and to relate them to specific performance outcomes. Future studies should expand to determine which came first: emotion or performance.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Are Mate Preferences Shaped by One's Life Stage?

Description

What characteristics do people prefer in potential mates? Previous studies have explored this question, discovering that preferred characteristics vary by people's sex and sexual strategy, but have implied that these

What characteristics do people prefer in potential mates? Previous studies have explored this question, discovering that preferred characteristics vary by people's sex and sexual strategy, but have implied that these preferences remain constant across the lifespan. We suggest, however, that systematic variation exists in individuals' mate preferences across the lifespan, as they shift their investments from mating toward parenting. We suggest that the characteristics of a potential mate can be viewed as affordances that assist or hinder an individual in achieving certain fundamental goals. Incorporating the framework of Life History Theory with this affordance-management approach to social behavior, we propose that an individual's life stage, sex, and life history strategy together serve as the basis for these goals and thereby shape the characteristics people seek in potential mates. Using data collected from participants aged 18-45 recruited on Amazon's Mechanical Turk, we tested a range of hypotheses derived from our approach. In general, results provide mixed support for a role of life stage in shaping mate preferences. For example, nurturance and social competence were viewed as more necessary characteristics in a mate by participants invested in parenting. Moreover, as their investment in mating increased, females expressed a greater preference for ambition in their potential mates, but males did not. Other predictions were not borne out, however, suggesting that there is still much to be learned from investigating the relationship between life stage and mate preferences.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Evolutionary Social Psychology, Social Dominance Theory, and Implicit Bias in the Criminal Justice System: An Interdisciplinary Insight into Mass Incarceration

Description

The United States has become home to the largest incarcerated population in the world, containing 25% of the world's prisoners (NAACP, 2013). Within this population, young men of color appear

The United States has become home to the largest incarcerated population in the world, containing 25% of the world's prisoners (NAACP, 2013). Within this population, young men of color appear to be severely overrepresented. This phenomenon can be better understood with the aid of a multi-disciplinary approach within the social sciences. Evolutionary theory is combined with multiple psychological and sociological perspectives, in order to more deeply understand the multi-level intersection of prejudice and discrimination against society's disadvantaged or vulnerable populations. A synthesis of the multiple theoretical angles of social dominance theory, affordance management, and life history theory is used to suggest a threat-based, attributional framework for understanding punitive decision-making and policy support. This conceptualization also considers the importance of the legal system in effecting social change. Future research within the legal arena is recommended to enable a more refined understanding of punitive ideology and implicit bias within the criminal justice system.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Mating Competitors Increase Religious Beliefs: A Look at the Moderating Effects of Sociosexuality

Description

In the current study, the author investigated whether sociosexual orientation interacted with an experimental manipulation of sex ratios previously used by Li et al. (2010) which showed that men and

In the current study, the author investigated whether sociosexual orientation interacted with an experimental manipulation of sex ratios previously used by Li et al. (2010) which showed that men and women report greater religiosity after viewing profiles of attractive members of their own sex. The author predicted that only people of restricted sociosexual orientation would be reporting greater religiosity after viewing profiles of attractive members of their own sex. A sample of 171 undergraduate students (85 men, Mage = 19.5) from a large Southwestern university participated in the study for course credit. Participants were first administered the Sociosexual Orientation Index (Simpson & Gangestad, 1991). Then, under the pretense of assisting psychology faculty in designing a dating website for incoming students, participants viewed a set of profiles (photo and description) of either attractive men or attractive women, after which they answered a series of questions on a religiosity scale developed for the current study. Results showed that sociosexual orientation did not interact significantly with the experimental manipulation. Additionally, the results of the current study failed to replicate those of Li et al. (2010). The author discusses possibilities for why the results of the current study failed to replicate the results of Li et al., and for alternative explanations of the potential role of sociosexual orientation in responding to shifting sex ratios.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

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The True Costs of Theft: An Evolutionary Psychology Study of Stealing Among Male ASU Students

Description

Regular instances of employee and petty theft seem to suggest that stealing is common. Certain situations make stealing an advantageous opportunity, and studies show that most people will steal under

Regular instances of employee and petty theft seem to suggest that stealing is common. Certain situations make stealing an advantageous opportunity, and studies show that most people will steal under the right conditions. However, these "right conditions" vary widely among individuals and are a combination of biological, social, psychological, and situational factors. In an attempt to better understand the rationality of stealing, our research team applied evolutionary psychology principles to a social experiment involving gift card theft. To find trends in how people will steal when given the opportunity, we attempted to create these "right conditions" (which we believed would encourage theft by minimizing cost) so that we could measure how a random sample of subjects (male students on the Tempe campus of Arizona State University) responded to variation in benefit. We predicted that if the cost was kept low, and if some gift cards conferred greater advantages than others (by possession greater value or utility), then the more advantageous gift cards would be stolen at a higher frequency from the sample pool than less advantageous ones. The results show that our assumptions were wrong. Theft almost never occurred and the few cards that were stolen were not the more "rational" choices as predicted. The experimental design indicates a flawed understanding of how the subjects weighed the benefits and costs of stealing gift cards. One major issue is that we failed to consider pro-social behavior as the norm. We also neglected the evolutionary benefits of cooperative behavior while overemphasizing the evolutionary benefits of theft. A more thorough and nuanced examination of the literature must be performed to avoid these fundamental flaws in the experiment in the future. The experiment also suffered from issues which might have inadvertently discouraged theft including the location, population, presence of other students, and time given to contemplate theft. If we wish to truly examine trends in theft to see if there is a trend towards the rational theft model we proposed, we must work with a population in which individuals already have a propensity to steal, the benefit is sufficiently high, and social pressures to be cooperative are low.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Are You My Father? Paternal Uncertainty and Genetic Testing

Description

Developments in commercial genetic testing have made it possible for people to find out a wealth of information that was previously difficult or impossible to obtain. Genetic testing is a

Developments in commercial genetic testing have made it possible for people to find out a wealth of information that was previously difficult or impossible to obtain. Genetic testing is a novel solution to the adaptive problem of paternal uncertainty. We hypothesized that participants in the control condition would have greater interest in their paternal genetic information than their maternal genetic information and that participants who were cued to their dissimilarities with their father would seek out genetic information regarding their paternal side of the family above all other conditions. Neither of the two tested hypotheses were supported by the data. Analyses of several variables suggest that the manipulation did work to enhance perceptions of similarity and dissimilarity to parents, that participants were paying attention, and that the dependent variables were sensitive. Some incidental findings suggest that feelings of similarity, rather than dissimilarity, to father are related to interest in learning about paternal genealogy.

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Date Created
  • 2020-12

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My baby daddy is a 10: mate value, sex ratio, and the endorsement of child support laws

Description

Life History Theory suggests that, in order to maximize reproductive fitness, individuals make trade-offs between allocating resources to mating and parenting. These trade-offs are influenced by an individual's sex, life

Life History Theory suggests that, in order to maximize reproductive fitness, individuals make trade-offs between allocating resources to mating and parenting. These trade-offs are influenced by an individual's sex, life history strategy, and environment. Here, I explored the usefulness of a Life History Theory framework for understanding endorsement of child support laws. This study experimentally manipulated sex ratio, and gathered information about participants' endorsement of child support, sexual restrictedness, and mate value. As predicted, women endorsed child support more than men, whereas men favored greater restriction of child support in the form of required paternity testing. However, in general, results do not support an effect of sex ratio, sexual restrictedness, or mate value on endorsement of child support. Results suggest sensitivity to exploitation in a male-biased sex ratio, reflected by an increase in men's endorsement of paternity testing requirements under a male-biased sex ratio prime. Women, on the other hand, report especially unfavorable beliefs toward paternity testing in a male-biased sex ratio. Although results of the current study are mixed, there remains much to be gained from applying an evolutionary perspective to understanding variability in endorsement of child support.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Friendship Jealousy: An (Overlooked) Emotion for Friendship Maintenance?

Description

Friendships make us happy, keep us healthy, and can even facilitate our reproductive fitness. But most friendships are not forever—even when we want them to be. How do people maintain

Friendships make us happy, keep us healthy, and can even facilitate our reproductive fitness. But most friendships are not forever—even when we want them to be. How do people maintain valued friendships? I propose that “friendship jealousy” arises when people perceive others as posing threats to valued friendships, and that this response can function to prevent friendship loss and friend defection. In preliminary experiments, I tested predictions derived from this functional view. As predicted, I found, first, that friendship jealousy is calibrated to friend value. Second, friendship jealousy predicts intentions to “friend guard” (i.e., engage in behavior to protect the friendship). Third, friendship jealousy has sex-differentiated features, which are consistent with sex differences in friendship structures and ancestral friendship functions. The present work pits against one another intuitive and functional predictions as to what drives friendship jealousy. Although intuition might lead one to expect greater jealousy when a friend spends more time with a new person, a functional view suggests greater jealousy when that new person threatens to fulfill the same function for one’s friend that one is currently fulfilling (i.e., to “replace” him/her). Preliminary studies revealed that greater friendship jealousy is evoked when friends form new same-sex friendships (which presumably pose greater replacement threat, but lesser time threat) versus new romantic relationships (which presumably pose lesser replacement threat, but greater time threat). The focal experiment explicitly and experimentally manipulates a version of “replacement threat” (whether the best friend “chooses” the new friend over you) and “time threat” (how much time the best friend spends with the new friend). In line with functional predictions, the amount of time the best friend spends with a new friend drives friendship jealousy—but only when direct information about replacement threat is unavailable. Regardless of the time threat posed, participants report high friendship jealousy when replacement threat is high, and low friendship jealousy when replacement threat is low. Results imply that friendship jealousy is calibrated to replacement threat (over time threat). Overall, findings suggest that friendship jealousy might be a functional response aimed at facilitating friendship maintenance.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018