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

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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

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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Date Created
2013

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Does Genetic Conflict Contribute to Pregnancy Complications and Postpartum Health and Behavior?

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Pregnancy is often described as one of the most cooperative ventures that a woman can experience in her lifetime. But when one considers the biological changes that occur during pregnancy, it becomes clear that pregnancy is not as cooperative as

Pregnancy is often described as one of the most cooperative ventures that a woman can experience in her lifetime. But when one considers the biological changes that occur during pregnancy, it becomes clear that pregnancy is not as cooperative as it seems on the surface. The current research uses a genetic conflict framework to predict how underlying conflict between mother and fetus over resource transfers is expected to alter eating behavior and food preferences, and how these changes in eating behavior and preferences should then be associated with certain pregnancy complications. Across two studies, women who had recently had a baby (Study 1) or were currently pregnant (Study 2) recalled changes in their eating behavior during pregnancy as well as any pregnancy complications they experienced during that pregnancy. Providing partial support for the hypotheses, women who reported increased vomiting in response to maternal-favoring foods were more likely to experience preeclampsia during pregnancy. In addition, the results provided preliminary evidence that changes in pregnancy eating behavior were associated with an increased the likelihood of experiencing high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, and infections during pregnancy. Taken together, these studies show that the framework of genetic conflict makes testable predictions about the relationship between eating behavior in pregnancy and pregnancy complications, and that several pregnancy complications that are relevant to genetic conflict (high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, and infection) are associated with changes in eating behavior in pregnancy. Future research should continue to investigate how genetic conflict influences the relationships between pregnancy eating behavior, pregnancy complications, and how these associations impact postpartum health.

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2022