Fig 6 - uploaded by Michael E W Varnum
Content may be subject to copyright.
Fundamental Social Motive Inventory results from all participants who provided data depicted in Figures 1, 3, and 5, presented separately for participants who were in a long-term relationship (green shading; n = 6,869) and participants who were not (no shading; n = 5,177). Breakupconcern and mate-retention items were not relevant to individuals not in relationships, and such individuals were asked not to complete them. The vertical bar and circle within each box represent the median and mean, respectively. The left and right sides of the box represent the interquartile range, and the ends of the whiskers represent the maximum (right) and minimum (left) values. The dashed line indicates the scale midpoint. Red plots show mate-seeking and breakup-concern goals, and blue plots show goals linked to long-term familial bonds.

Fundamental Social Motive Inventory results from all participants who provided data depicted in Figures 1, 3, and 5, presented separately for participants who were in a long-term relationship (green shading; n = 6,869) and participants who were not (no shading; n = 5,177). Breakupconcern and mate-retention items were not relevant to individuals not in relationships, and such individuals were asked not to complete them. The vertical bar and circle within each box represent the median and mean, respectively. The left and right sides of the box represent the interquartile range, and the ends of the whiskers represent the maximum (right) and minimum (left) values. The dashed line indicates the scale midpoint. Red plots show mate-seeking and breakup-concern goals, and blue plots show goals linked to long-term familial bonds.

Source publication
Article
Full-text available
What motives do people prioritize in their social lives? Historically, social psychologists, especially those adopting an evolutionary perspective, have devoted a great deal of research attention to sexual attraction and romantic-partner choice (mate seeking). Research on long-term familial bonds (mate retention and kin care) has been less thorough...

Contexts in source publication

Context 1
... life-history comparison would be to compare the data for people in a long-term relationship with data for people who are not. To address this possibility, we collapsed data across the various samples mentioned so far (total N = 12,046) and examined the strength of the various fundamental motives as a function of participants' relationship status (Fig. ...
Context 2
... that first study, people were asked to rank brief descriptions of the different goals according to their personal importance (using the summary terms shown in Table 2). Furthermore, and lending support to the notion that people may be accurately reflecting their motivational priorities, the results depicted in Figure 6 indicate that, as expected, people who are single do indeed report levels of mate seeking equivalent to several other motives. Perhaps, on the other side of the equation, familialbonds motives are simply strongly associated with general positivity and social desirability. ...

Citations

... It would be interesting to understand whether dating popularity would affect heterosexual and non-heterosexual individuals differently, too. Other recent evidence has shown that whereas men are more interested in casual sex than women are, the sex difference is larger among younger than older adults (Ko et al., 2019). It is then possible that older adults would be differently affected by dating popularity than younger adults, another possibility that could be further explored. ...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Trait mate value covaries with several socio-political attitudes. One’s dating popularity in a mating market can, however, shift one’s self-perceived mate value in that market. We tested whether dating popularity could therefore also shift socio-political attitudes, and whether trait mate value could moderate this effect. Method Heterosexual participants (N = 237) reported their trait mate value. Participants then recorded a video of themselves and received video responses from five opposite-sex peers, each consisting of either positive or negative romantic feedback—forming the manipulation (popularity: from low to high). Afterwards, we measured participants’ attitudes to traditional gender roles, casual sex, minimum wage and healthcare, and implicit sexual and political attitudes. Results Unpopular men reported less support for casual sex than popular men. There was no main effect on women. Unpopular men had lower positive affect than popular men, and in turn men with lower positive affect reported less support for casual sex and for increasing the minimum wage and access to healthcare than men with higher positive affect. Unpopular low mate-value women reported more support for casual sex than popular low mate-value women. Unpopular men of low and average mate value reported less support for casual sex than popular men of low and average mate value. There was no effect on average mate-value women and high mate-value women and men. Conclusions Changes in positive affect due to dating popularity influence some of men’s, but not women’s, socio-political attitudes, and trait mate value moderates the effects of popularity on attitudes to casual sex.
... These relationships are referred to as "in-law" or "affinal" relationships, which at once signal kinship through marriage and differentiate these relationships from those with genetic kin. Despite the emphasis on kinship (Ackerman et al., 2007;Eberhard, 1975;Hamilton, 1964;Ko et al., 2020;Koster et al., 2019;Lieberman et al., 2007) and mating relationships (Buss, 1985(Buss, , 1989(Buss, , 2017Buss & Barnes, 1986;Buss & Schmitt, 1993;Gangestad & Simpson, 2000;Symons, 1979) in evolutionary social science, there has been surprisingly little quantitative examination of the psychology behind affinal relationships, possibly due to the fact that there are no universal patterns of dispersal in humans (Ember, 1975(Ember, , 1978Koenig & Borries, 2012;Kramer et al., 2017;Marlowe, 2003Marlowe, , 2004Murdock, 1949Murdock, , 1967Rodseth et al., 1991;Seielstad et al., 1998;Turnball, 1976). ...
Article
Full-text available
Relationships with genetic relatives have been extensively studied in the evolutionary social sciences, but affinal, i.e., in-laws, relationships have received much less attention. Yet, humans have extensive interactions with the kin of their mates, leading to many opportunities for cooperative and conflictual interactions with extended kinship networks. To contribute to the scholarship on affinal bonds, and particularly on perceptions of affinal conflict, we collected empirical data on cooperation and conflict among affines. Here, we report empirical evidence of self-reported cooperative and conflictual aspects in affinal relationships in a Western sample. US men and women both reported more conflict with mothers-in-law than with mothers, and mothers reported more conflict with their daughters-in-law than with their daughters. We discuss the implications of this work and directions for future research.
... As women's competition occurs across the lifespan (Linney, Korologou-Linden, & Campbell, 2016;Low, 2017), domain-and age-specific effects on competition should exist. For example, as women's fundamental social motives become more family-oriented (Ko et al., 2020), women may be less likely to coordinate against sexually permissive women and instead coordinate against women who are perceived as bad mothers. We could not test for the attenuation of this effect and changing motivations in menopausal women (using Gottschalk, Eskild, Hofvind, Gran, & Bjelland, 2020) as there were not enough women in our sample for ageeffects to be appropriately powered (5.7% were 52 years or older in Study 1; 1.2% were 52 years or older in Study 2). ...
Article
Here, we identify a novel reason why women are often criticized and condemned for (allegedly) sexually permissive behavior due to their choice of clothing. Combining principles from coordinated condemnation and sexual economics theory, we developed a model of competition that helps explain this behavior. We hypothesized that women collectively condemn other women who appear to be sexually permissive (based on their choice of clothing). Study 1 (N = 712) demonstrated that women perceived a rival with visible cleavage more negatively. These perceptions were ultimately driven by the belief that "provocatively" dressed women are more likely to have one-night stands. Study 2 (N = 341) demonstrated that women criticized provocatively dressed women, even when these women were not direct sexual rivals (e.g., her boyfriend's sister). Our findings suggest that future research should investigate competition outside of mating-relevant domains to understand women's intrasexual competition fully.
... Previous findings suggest that young males are less compliant because they are less averse to risk in general (Baker & Maner, 2008;Oksuzyan et al., 2008) or less sensitive to risks of infectious disease in particular (Oosterhof & Palmer, 2020). However, we suggest that these demographic patterns of adherence to social distancing can be explained by the trade-off between social motives and pathogen avoidance motives because intensity of social motives, and the trade-offs faced by investing effort in them, depend on life history variables such as age and sex (Ko et al., 2019;Neel et al., 2016). Next, we outline how various social motives should relate to social distancing and hygiene adherence and their relationship with age and sex. ...
... A wide range of research has shown that humans engage in mating strategies in a gender divergent manner (Buss & Schmitt, 1993;Gangestad & Simpson, 2000). Men on average have higher mate-seeking motives (Ko et al., 2019), and report more desire for casual sex, whereas women report more interest in committed long-term relationships (Buss & Schmitt, 1993;Clark & Hatfield, 1989;Gangestad & Simpson, 2000;Kenrick et al., 1993;Schmitt, 2005). Thus, men's lower compliance with social distancing may result not only from lower pathogen avoidance motives but also from greater interest in seeking new romantic or sexual partners. ...
... Thus, men's lower compliance with social distancing may result not only from lower pathogen avoidance motives but also from greater interest in seeking new romantic or sexual partners. Moreover, younger people (e.g., colleague students) also report more interest in mate-seeking than older adults (Ko et al., 2019;Neel et al., 2016), which may explain lower adherence to social distancing among young people. ...
Article
Full-text available
A range of studies have sought to understand why people’s compliance with social distancing varied during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent theory suggests that pathogen avoidance behavior is based not only on perceived risk but on a trade-off between the perceived costs of pathogen exposure and the perceived benefits of social contact. We hypothesized that compliance with social distancing may therefore be explained by a trade-off between pathogen avoidance and various social motives such as mate-seeking. Two studies conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic showed that social distancing was positively associated with disease avoidance motives but negatively associated with social motives, especially mating motives. These associations remained after controlling for predictors identified by previous research, including risk perception and personality. Findings indicate that people who are more interested in seeking new romantic partners (e.g., young men) may be less inclined to socially distance and be more at risk of pathogen transmission.
... The stakes of such moral judgments for the maintenance of our personal social networks typically are higher than the stakes of analogous judgments pertaining to strangers. Moreover, moral judgments about interactions between strangers often will differ in systematic ways from judgments about interactions between friends, family members, or other familiar individuals in the same situation [11][12][13] . For example, consider someone who could easily feed a hungry individual but fails to do so. ...
Article
Full-text available
Judgments of whether an action is morally wrong depend on who is involved and the nature of their relationship. But how, when, and why social relationships shape moral judgments is not well understood. We provide evidence to address these questions, measuring cooperative expectations and moral wrongness judgments in the context of common social relationships such as romantic partners, housemates, and siblings. In a pre-registered study of 423 U.S. participants nationally representative for age, race, and gender, we show that people normatively expect different relationships to serve cooperative functions of care, hierarchy, reciprocity, and mating to varying degrees. In a second pre-registered study of 1,320 U.S. participants, these relationship-specific cooperative expectations (i.e., relational norms) enable highly precise out-of-sample predictions about the perceived moral wrongness of actions in the context of particular relationships. In this work, we show that this ‘relational norms’ model better predicts patterns of moral wrongness judgments across relationships than alternative models based on genetic relatedness, social closeness, or interdependence, demonstrating how the perceived morality of actions depends not only on the actions themselves, but also on the relational context in which those actions occur.
... In contrast, both men and women place similarly great importance in securing a committed long-term bond with a reliable and nurturant mate. This is likely because bonded long-term mates tend to provide substantial investments in their partners and offspring, thereby greatly enhancing reproductive tness for both partners (Geary, 2000;Kaplan et al., 2000;Ko et al., 2020). ...
Preprint
Full-text available
If life satisfaction has functional significance for goal achievement, it should be calibrated to cues of potential success on active and fundamentally important goals. Within the context of mating motivation, we tested this hypothesis with self-perceived mate value—an assessment of one’s potential mating success. As hypothesized, because most individuals (eventually) seek long-term relationships, self-perceived long-term mate value predicted life satisfaction for men and women regardless of relationship status. In contrast, and also as hypothesized, self-perceived short-term mate value predicted life satisfaction only for individuals with short-term mating goals—single uncommitted men (Studies 1, 2A, and 2B), individuals dispositionally motivated toward short-term relationships (Studies 2A and 2B), and single uncommitted women for whom short-term mating motivation was experimentally engaged, enabling causal inference (Study 3). Results support a functional conceptualization of life satisfaction, showing that currently active mating goals can shape the extent to which goal-specific self-perceived mate value predicts life satisfaction.
... As young people leave home, the importance of maintaining different relationships begins to shift, and the ways in which these relationships contribute to youth development also shift. Ko and colleagues [3] suggest that even during these times of transition and re-centering of relationships, there is something unique about long-term familial bonds such that youth continue to rank seeing and spending time with family as more important than intimate relationships. This perspective suggests that youth are socially motivated to maintain the sibling relationship and that siblings are an important contributor to development [4]; however, we know little about how siblings' communication with new technologies contributes to positive development throughout adolescence and emerging adulthood. ...
... Further, sibling social support was able to partially or completely compensate for low levels of social support from other relationships including with friends. In addition, Ko and colleagues [3] found that across a wide range of groups (U.S. college students and non-college samples from 27 countries), the motivation to maintain social relationships with family members was positively associated with psychological well-being. While these results suggest that sibling relationships can support positive psychological well-being, it is also possible that personal well-being influences these relationships. ...
Article
Full-text available
To address a gap in the literature we examined sibling relationships as a context for positive development. Specifically, the relationships between individual well-being, sibling closeness, and frequency of sibling communication were explored. The goal of this study was to determine whether individual well-being moderated the relationship between frequency of sibling communication and perceived sibling closeness. Participants included a subsample (n = 236) of youth from a larger study who reported having at least one sibling. Data were collected through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that associations between frequency of sibling communication and sibling closeness were statistically significant, sibling communication and closeness were highly correlated, regardless of individual differences. Neither emotional, psychological, nor social well-being moderated the relationship between frequency of sibling communication and sibling closeness. Limitations and future directions are considered.
... However, psychologists have yet to agree as to the existence of separable motives (Barrett, 2017), how many there are, nor on the identity of individual motives. Many different systems of human motives have been postulated in the psychological literature, from its earliest days (James, 1890) to the present (Talevich et al., 2017;Chierchia et al., 2020;Desmet and Fokkinga, 2020;Ko et al., 2020). Scholars have used a wide variety of approaches to identify sets of motivational constructs (sometimes called by names such as ergs, drives, needs or goals). ...
... Having established the existence of these motives, we next examined their inter-relationships, showing that, in terms of instigating behavior, a number of motives appear to be mutually reinforcing (e.g., Status and Attractiveness; Play and Curiosity), while others are generally antagonistic (e.g., Status and Affiliation). Future work should investigate motives' relationships with other sorts of evidence, following the example of recent work in this area linking motive aspects (such as approach/avoid tendencies) and brain area activation (Schultheiss et al., 2021) or examining the perceived real-world importance of different types of motives (Ko et al., 2020). We also validated a more manageable scale (a reduced list of the three highest loading items for each of the 14 identified motives, shown in bold in Table 6), showing that it had similar psychometric qualities to the full questionnaire. ...
Article
Full-text available
Many different general systems of human motives have been postulated in the psychological literature. However, as yet, no consensus on which motives should be nominated, nor how many there are, has emerged. Recently, we deduced the existence of a number of motives using a logical argument derived from evolutionary theory; that humans have evolved an independent psychological “engine” to respond to each kind of evolutionary problem set by a dimension of the human niche, or life-way. Here, we confirm the existence of 14 out of 15 of these postulated motives using factor analysis on a web-based sample of 500 respondents from the UK: Lust, Hunger, Fear, Disgust, Attract, Love, Nurture, Hoard, Create, Affiliate, Status, Justice, Curiosity, and Play. The items which loaded most strongly for each factor confirmed the expected core value of each motive. Comfort did not emerge, perhaps because it is more about satisfying specific physiological requirements than a cluster of activities linked semantically by the concept of attaining “comfort.” We believe this analysis can form the foundation of a scale for use in applied psychological work ranging from personality testing to personnel selection to public health program design.
... For example, in one study, parents for whom kincare motives were activated via questions about their children reported increased perception of risk in various activities (e.g., horseback riding), subsequent risk aversion in a hypothetical gambling task, and decreased trust in strangers (Eibach & Mock, 2011). Although evolutionarily based research in psychology has focused extensively on mate acquisition, recent cross-cultural work examining people's reports of their own current and chronic goals suggests that these kin-care motives are universally higher in priority (Ko et al., 2020). ...
... Recent cross-cultural research lends credence to the universality of some motivational priorities. When participants from 27 countries ranked the perceived importance of fundamental social motives, familial motives (kin care and mate retention) consistently rose to the top priority across cultures (Ko et al., 2020). This was a somewhat unexpected finding, even as predicted demographic differences were supported (e.g., young adults, single people, and men ranked mate-seeking motives higher than older adults, married people, and women), because evolutionary researchers often emphasize the importance of mating motives, given their direct application to reproductive fitness. ...
... In the decade since our team reviewed preliminary findings regarding fundamental motives, the framework has produced a robust body of research and a better understanding of the functional, domain-specific nature of human behavior. The framework has helped to update long-standing models of human behavior-for example, reconsiderations of evolutionary psychology's focus on mating behavior in light of recent evidence of the primacy of kin-care motives (Ko et al., 2020)-and continues to generate novel future directions for research. Such advances suggest that consideration of fundamental motives, coupled with situational context (i.e., domain specificity), can continue to shed a more nuanced light on understanding of human cognition and behavior. ...
Article
An article published in Current Directions a decade ago introduced the fundamental-motives framework and reviewed initial promising findings using this general approach. According to this framework, a recurring set of challenges and opportunities during human evolution gave rise to overarching motivational systems in the domains of self-protection, disease avoidance, social affiliation, status seeking, mate acquisition, mate retention, and kin care. When activated, fundamental motives influence psychological processes by directing cognition and behavior in distinct and functionally relevant ways. In the intervening years, the approach has been expanded to a broader range of motives, individual and cultural variations in those motives, and the physiological correlates of activating different motives. In this article, we review a decade of research applying the fundamental-motives framework and point to promising new research directions.
... Familial relationships are relevant to everyday people's highest social priorities (Ko et al., 2019). Unaccompanied minors have a high incidence of depression and suicidal ideation (Teicher, 2018). ...
Article
Background Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is related to childhood abuse, family relationships, interpersonal relationships, personality, but the interaction between them is still unclear, and how they interact in major depressive disorder (MDD). Methods Collected data from 444 undergraduate degree students with MDD participated. Used the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, Interpersonal Relationship Comprehensive Diagnostic Scale, and Family Assessment Device to assess the patients' psychosocial factors. NSSI behavior was assessed through interviews. Use the Chi-square test, Wilcoxon rank-sum test, Kruskal-Wallis H-test, Distance Correlation, Structural Equation Mode for data analysis. Results Overall, 34.2% of patients with MDD had a history of NSSI. MDD patients with a history of NSSI had significant differences in psychoticism, neuroticism, emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional neglect, troubles in conversation, ability to make friends and family roles. Among these factors, psychoticism was most related to NSSI, and child abuse, interpersonal relationships and family roles played a variety of roles in mediating the relationship with NSSI. Conclusions Psychosocial factors affect the occurrence of NSSI through chain intermediary effects.