Matching Items (15)

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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 not have to be amicable, and in fact can be

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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2018-05

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

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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

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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2014-05

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

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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

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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2014-05

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

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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

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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2015-05

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

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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

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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2014-05

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Are Mate Preferences Shaped by One's Life Stage?

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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

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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2014-05

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Leaders at Face-Value

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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

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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2020-05

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Are You My Father? Paternal Uncertainty and Genetic Testing

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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

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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2020-12

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Pro-environmental motivation: an evolutionarily informed approach

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Pro-environmental goals often pit immediate self-interest against future communal interest. Consequently, the motivation to behave in pro-environmental ways can be particularly difficult to maintain over time. By framing environmental ills as threats to one's chronic concerns, I suggest that chronic

Pro-environmental goals often pit immediate self-interest against future communal interest. Consequently, the motivation to behave in pro-environmental ways can be particularly difficult to maintain over time. By framing environmental ills as threats to one's chronic concerns, I suggest that chronic motivations, such as disease avoidance, can be leveraged to engender longer-lasting pro-environmental motivation. Specifically, I suggest that three distinct categories of environmental ills should be associated with distinct chronic concerns, and that the mechanisms that regulate these concerns should also regulate reactions to related environmental ills: pollution should engage a pathogenic disgust mechanism, wastefulness a moral disgust mechanism, and framing environmental outcomes as posing safety concerns should be linked to fear and anger mechanisms. Results of four experiments did not lend consistent support to the hypotheses. Neither situationally primed concerns nor motivation-relevant individual differences produced consistent results suggesting an association between the proposed motivations and the relevant environmental outcomes.

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2012

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The functionality of risk-taking: mating motivation, relationship status, and sex differences

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Men may engage in financially risky behaviors when seeking mates for several reasons: Risky behaviors can signal to potential mates one's genetic fitness, may facilitate success in status competition with other men, and may be a necessary strategy for gaining

Men may engage in financially risky behaviors when seeking mates for several reasons: Risky behaviors can signal to potential mates one's genetic fitness, may facilitate success in status competition with other men, and may be a necessary strategy for gaining sufficient resources to offer potential mates. Once in a relationship, however, the same financial riskiness may be problematic for males, potentially suggesting to partners an interest in (extra-curricular) mate-seeking and placing in jeopardy existing resources available to the partner and the relationship. In the current research, we employed guided visualization scenarios to activate either a mating motivation or no motivation in single and in attached men and women. Participants indicated their preference for either guaranteed sums of money or chances of getting significantly more money accompanied by chances of getting nothing. As predicted, mating motivation led single men to become more risky and attached men to become less risky. These findings replicated across different samples and measures. Interestingly, in all three studies, women exhibited the opposite pattern: Mating motivation led single women to become less financially risky and attached women to become more risky. Thus, two additional experiments were conducted to explore the potential causes of this effect. The results of these latter experiments support the "mate-switching" hypothesis of risk-taking in attached women. That is, women who are able (i.e. have high mate value) were more risky in order to exit an undesirable relationship and move into a better one.

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2012