Aleksandra Szymkow

Aleksandra Szymkow
SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities | SWPS · Institute of Psychology

Phd

About

30
Publications
8,412
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
492
Citations
Introduction
I'm a psychologist, a head of the Center for Research on Biological Basis of Social Behavior at SWPS University. My research interests focus on applying evolutionary perpsectives to understanding social fenomena. Recent projects concern moderators of sexual interest in cross-sex friendships, social consequences of pathogen-avoidance motives, as well as the role of an ovulatory cycle in a cognitive functioning of women.

Publications

Publications (30)
Article
Full-text available
The fact that men and women experience sexual attraction toward their opposite-sex friends has been evidenced in various studies. It has also been shown that there is a close parallel between preferences for opposite-sex friends and mate preferences, i.e., that men prioritize physical attractiveness of their OSFs, while women prioritize their male...
Article
Full-text available
Topics of prejudice, discrimination, and negative attitudes toward outgroups have attracted much attention of social scientists during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the preference for social distancing can originate from the perception of threat. One of the theoretical approaches that offers an explanation for avoidance tendencies is the behavioral imm...
Poster
Full-text available
The behavioral immune system (BIS) represents a set of actions to avoid contracting infectious diseases (Murray & Schaller, 2012). For the reason that having contact with outgroup members entails a heightened risk of infection (Schaller & Neuberg, 2012), pathogen avoidance motives have been shown to be linked with negativity toward foreign individu...
Article
Full-text available
Negative attitudes and stigmatization can originate from the perception of a disease-related threat. Following the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is often suggested that incidents of discriminatory behavior are the result of defense mechanisms aimed at avoiding pathogens. According to the behavioral immune system theory, people are motivated t...
Article
Full-text available
Creative thinking is a defining human feature. It provides novel solutions and as such undoubtedly has contributed to our survival. However, according to signaling theory, creativity could also have evolved through sexual selection as a potential fitness indicator. In our study, we tested one implication of this theory. Specifically, we hypothesize...
Article
Full-text available
The signaling theory suggests that creativity may have evolved as a signal for mates. Indeed, its aesthetic value might not have been necessary for survival, but it could have helped to attract a mate, fostering childbearing. If we consider creativity as such a signal, we should expect it will be enhanced in the context related to sexual selection....
Poster
Full-text available
Topics of prejudice, discrimination, and negative attitudes toward out-groups have attracted much attention of social scientists during theCOVID-19 pandemic, as the preference for social distancing can originate from a perception of threat.One of the theoretical approaches that offer an explanation for avoidance tendencies is behavioral immune syst...
Poster
Full-text available
Cross-sex friendships play an important role both in women’s and men’s lives. On the one hand, cross-sex friends can be our great companions allowing for the substantial level of intimacy (Monseur, 1992; Bleske-Rechek & Buss, 2001). However, the opposite-sex friendship (OSF) can also serve as a medium by which people may seek and initiate both shor...
Poster
Full-text available
Women are found to be more creative during their fertility peak in ovulation. The originality of their thinking is especially enhanced.
Poster
Full-text available
The behavioral immune system (BIS) is one of the broadly examined subjects in the evolutionary field. It aims to detect potentially threatening sources of infection by triggering emotional (disgust) and behavioral (avoidance) reactions. Visible inflammation cues or coming from a different region (inhabited by new parasites) can result in the increa...
Article
Full-text available
People often assess other people’s personality traits merely based on their emotional expression or the physical features of their faces. In this paper we review the evidence of biases when formulating judgments of trustworthiness and confidence from two types of facial characteristics. One line of evidence documents the influence of emotional expr...
Article
This article introduces the Perspectives Questionnaire (PQ), a self-rated measure of propensities to take agentand recipient perspectives in social cognition. Each social interaction involves two separate perspectives–that ofan agent (a person who performs an action) and that of a recipient (a person at whom the action is directed andwho experience...
Article
Full-text available
Agency (A) and communion (C) are fundamental content dimensions. We propose a facet-model that differentiates A into assertiveness (AA) and competence (AC) and C into warmth (CW) and morality (CM). We tested the model in a cross-cultural study by comparing data from Asia, Australia, Europe, and the USA (overall N = 1.808). Exploratory and confirmat...
Article
In this article, we comment on the replication attempt by Ebersole and colleagues (2015) on the effect that communal (vs. agentic) priming leads to estimates of higher ambient temperature. We conclude that the probability that the effect is true is considerable, but only at lower ambient temperatures. We comment on “hidden moderators”, data quality...
Article
Full-text available
Agency and communion, as two fundamental dimensions of social perception, have proved to play an important role in a vast majority of psychological domains (Abele & Wojciszke,, while agency plays a crucial role in processes of self-perception (Abele & Wojciszke, 2007) and self-esteem (Wojciszke, Baryla, Parzuchowski, Szymkow, & Abele, 2011). Despit...
Article
Full-text available
Motor movements increase the accessibility of the thought content and processes with which they typically co-occur. In two studies, we demonstrate that putting a hand on one's heart is associated with honesty, both perceived in others and shown in one's own behavior. Target persons photographed when performing this gesture appeared more trustworthy...
Article
Full-text available
Basing on the popular distinction between controlled and automatic psychological processes we present results of the debate between rationalistic versus intuitionistic accounts of moral judgments. These judgments are a joint product of automatic and controlled processes and because the former are fast and continuous, they play a greater role than t...
Article
Full-text available
Conceptual representations of warmth have been shown to be related to people’s perceptions of ambient temperature. Based on this premise, we hypothesized that merely thinking about personality traits related to communion (but not agency) influences physical experience of warmth. Specifically, the three studies revealed that (a) perceptions of tempe...
Article
Conceptual representations of warmth have been shown to be related to people's perceptions of ambient temperature. Based on this premise, we hypothesized that merely thinking about personality traits related to communion (but not agency) influences physical experience of warmth. Specifically, the three studies revealed that (a) perceptions of tempe...
Article
Conceptual representations of warmth have been shown to be related to people's perceptions of ambient temperature. Based on this premise, we hypothesized that merely thinking about personality traits related to communion (but not agency) influences physical experience of warmth. Specifically, the three studies revealed that (a) perceptions of tempe...
Article
We present a Double Perspective Model (DPM) explaining why agency (competence) and communion (warmth) constitute two basic content dimensions of social cognition. Every social action involves two perspectives: of the agent (a person who performs an action) and of the recipient (a person at whom the action is directed). Immediate cognitive goals of...
Article
Full-text available
In four experiments mood was measured before and after complaining or affrmation. Participants complained or affrmed either themselves or listened to such communications of another person. Mood decreased after complaining and increased after affrmation - a “saying is experiencing” (SIE) effect. This effect was found also in the cognitive load condi...
Article
Full-text available
Two studies examined the general prediction that one's emotional expression should facilitate memory for material that matches the expression. The authors focused on specific facial expressions of surprise. In the first study, participants who were mimicking a surprised expression showed better recall for the surprising words and worse recall for n...
Article
Full-text available
Two studies examined the general prediction that one's emotional expression should facilitate memory for material that matches the expression. The authors focused on specific facial expressions of surprise. In the first study, participants who were mimicking a surprised expression showed better recall for the surprising words and worse recall for n...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (6)
Project
The main goal is to investigate disease-avoidance mechanisms in social context
Project
Creativity definitely has its utilitarian value: it has probably allowed for the development of new ways of enabling survival, such as improving hunting methods or building shelters. However, creativity is also strongly associated with aesthetics, manifesting in painting or dancing, which remains unexplained in terms of the need for survival. Beauty is not required for survival, and as Darwin (1871, p. 61) argued: “the taste for the beautiful is confined with the attraction of the opposite sex”. In our project, we want to test such inspiring Darwin's hypothesis in many contexts related to sexual selection.
Project
The main goal of the project is to investigate theoretically-based moderators of sexual interest toward opposite-sex friends related to both one's romantic partner and one's opposite-sex friends.