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The Social Symbolism of Water-Conserving Landscaping

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Three studies examined the symbolic and self-presentational meaning of low-water-use residential landscaping in a desert city in the southwestern United States. We hypothesized that owners' water-intensive or water-conserving landscape choices would be seen to convey very different characteristics. Data indicated

Three studies examined the symbolic and self-presentational meaning of low-water-use residential landscaping in a desert city in the southwestern United States. We hypothesized that owners' water-intensive or water-conserving landscape choices would be seen to convey very different characteristics. Data indicated that these two types of residential landscapes led to substantially different attributions about homeowners and also that potential homeowners could use landscapes to convey an array of characteristics to a social audience. In general, water-intensive landscapes led to more positive attributions than did water-conserving landscapes. The results support the idea that landscaping choice may be guided by self-presentational considerations, and that such considerations might influence the adoption of high- or low-water-use landscapes.

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Date Created
2014-12-01

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

Description

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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Date Created
2012