David M Buss

David M Buss
University of Texas at Austin | UT · Department of Psychology

Ph.D., UC Berkeley

About

381
Publications
857,565
Reads
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44,094
Citations
Introduction
David M Buss currently works at the Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin. David does research in Evolutionary Psychology. HIs text, 'Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind,' is now in production for the 6th edition. It will be published at the beginning of 2019.
Additional affiliations
September 1996 - present
University of Texas at Austin
Position
  • Professor
September 1981 - June 1985
Harvard University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (381)
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies on sex-differentiated mate preferences have focused on univariate analyses. However, because mate selection is inherently multidimensional, a multivariate analysis more appropriately measures sex differences in mate preferences. We used the Mahalanobis distance (D) and logistic regression to investigate sex differences in mate pref...
Article
This paper reports independent studies supporting the proposal that human standards of attractiveness reflect the output of psychological adaptations to detect fitness-relevant traits. We tested novel a priori hypotheses based on an adaptive problem uniquely faced by ancestral hominin females: a forward-shifted center of mass during pregnancy. The...
Article
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This article proposes a contextual-evolutionary theory of human mating strategies. Both men and women are hypothesized to have evolved distinct psychological mechanisms that underlie short-term and long-term strategies. Men and women confront different adaptive problems in short-term as opposed to long-term mating contexts. Consequently, different...
Article
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The desires of one sex can lead to deceptive exploitation by the other sex. Strategic Interference Theory proposes that certain "negative" emotions evolved or have been co-opted by selection, in part, to defend against deception and reduce its negative consequences. In Study 1 (N = 217) Americans reported emotional distress in response to specific...
Article
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The current study sought to answer three key questions about explaining the emotion of regret in the domain of casual sex: Are sex differences in sexual regret robust or attenuated in a highly egalitarian culture? What proximate psychological variables might explain sex differences in sexual regret? And what accounts for within-sex variation in exp...
Article
Benenson et al. (2022) amass impressive evidence of robust sex differences as support for expanding “staying alive” theory. We argue for a broader and more domain-specific conceptualization focusing on life history tradeoffs between survival and mating success. Using three examples – women's disgust, fear of rape, and cultivation of bodyguards – we...
Article
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Despite the increase in the scientific study of morality over the past decade, one important domain remains relatively underexplored—sexual morality. The current article begins to fill this gap by exploring its multidimensionality and testing several evolution-based hypotheses about sex differences in moralizing distinct components of sexual morali...
Article
The niche-diversity hypothesis proposes that personality structure arises from the affordances of unique trait combinations within a society. It predicts that personality traits will be both more variable and differentiated in populations with more distinct social and ecological niches. Prior tests of this hypothesis in 55 nations suffered from pot...
Article
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Using the same methodology as Meston and Buss (2007), three studies were conducted on a Hungarian sample (total N = 4913) which corroborate previous findings on the universal diversity of sexual motivation. Study 1 ( N = 2728; 1069 women and 1659 men) identified 197 reasons for having sex based on participants’ free responses. In Study 2 ( N = 1161...
Article
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A wide range of literature connects sex ratio and mating behaviours in non-human animals. However, research examining sex ratio and human mating is limited in scope. Prior work has examined the relationship between sex ratio and desire for short-term, uncommitted mating as well as outcomes such as marriage and divorce rates. Less empirical attentio...
Article
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Objective One of the factors that sexual disgust should be calibrated to is the size of the mating pool. This study tested this hypothesis by examining whether perceptions of mate availability explain variance in levels of sexual disgust towards potential mates.Methods Participants (N = 853; 373 women) rated how sexually disgusting they found 60 po...
Article
Full-text available
A wide range of literature connects sex ratio and mating behaviours in non-human animals. However, research examining sex ratio and human mating is limited in scope. Prior work has examined the relationship between sex ratio and desire for short-term, uncommitted mating as well as outcomes such as marriage and divorce rates. Less empirical attentio...
Article
Full-text available
A wide range of literature connects sex ratio and mating behaviours in non-human animals. However, research examining sex ratio and human mating is limited in scope. Prior work has examined the relationship between sex ratio and desire for short-term, uncommitted mating as well as outcomes such as marriage and divorce rates. Less empirical attentio...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual arousal is conceptualized as a motivational system that prioritizes mating and minimizes the perceived risks associated with sex. Previous studies show that when sexually aroused, individuals are more likely to endorse engaging in risky sexual behaviors. A majority of these studies examine a restricted number of sexual behaviors or do not te...
Book
The book goes into depth into topics subsumed by the umbrella of 'sexual conflict,' or the battle of the sexes. These include deception in dating and mating, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, sexual coercion, and sexual assault. It presents a unified evolutionary theory of sexual conflict
Preprint
This extended reply addresses comments on our paper examining the role of cost infliction and benefit generation in status allocations across 14 nations (Durkee et al., 2020). Specifically, Cheng et al. (2021) identified multicollinearity among our predictors as cause for concern and reviewed existing evidence that purportedly challenges our conclu...
Article
Full-text available
Interpersonal touch behavior differs across cultures, yet no study to date has systematically tested for cultural variation in affective touch, nor examined the factors that might account for this variability. Here, over 14,000 individuals from 45 countries were asked whether they embraced, stroked, kissed, or hugged their partner, friends, and you...
Book
Personality makes us who we are and influences every aspect of our lives - from how we interact with others, to how we respond in stressful situations. Personality Psychology uses a unique organizational framework to explore the six key domains of knowledge about personality - Dispositional, Biological, Intrapsychic, Cognitive/Experiential, Social/...
Article
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Humans and viruses have been coevolving for millennia. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19) has been particularly successful in evading our evolved defenses. The outcome has been tragic—across the globe, millions have been sickened and hundreds of thousands have died. Moreover, the quarantine...
Chapter
The cognitive revolution reshaped our understanding of psychology by considering the mind as an assemblage of information-processing mechanisms. A central proposition of this computational theory of mind was that, to understand human behavior, we must attend to the information-processing mechanisms responsible for producing it. Despite the indispen...
Article
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Reports an error in "Human status criteria: Sex differences and similarities across 14 nations" by David M. Buss, Patrick K. Durkee, Todd K. Shackelford, Brian F. Bowdle, David P. Schmitt, Gary L. Brase, Jae C. Choe and Irina Trofimova (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Advanced Online Publication, May 28, 2020, np). In the article, the...
Article
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Competing theories of status allocation posit divergent conceptual foundations upon which human status hierarchies are built. We argue that the three prominent theories of status allocation—competence-based models, conflict-based models, and dual-pathway models—can be distinguished by the importance that they place on four key affordance dimensions...
Article
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The Triangular Theory of Love (measured with Sternberg’s Triangular Love Scale – STLS) is a prominent theoretical concept in empirical research on love. To expand the culturally homogeneous body of previous psychometric research regarding the STLS, we conducted a large-scale cross-cultural study with the use of this scale. In total, we examined mor...
Article
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The field of personality psychology aspires to construct an overarching theory of human nature and individual differences: one that specifies the psychological mechanisms that underpin both universal and variable aspects of thought, emotion, and behaviour. Here, we argue that the adaptationist toolkit of evolutionary psychology provides a powerful...
Preprint
The niche diversity hypothesis proposes that personality structure arises from the affordances of unique trait-combinations within a society. Prior tests of the hypothesis in 55 nations suffer from potential confounds associated with differences in the measurement properties of personality scales across groups. Using recently developed psychometric...
Preprint
Objective: One of the factors that sexual disgust should be calibrated to is the size of the mating pool. Previous research provides evidence that low mate availability affects perceptions related to mate choice. However, methodological shortcomings leave the role of sexual disgust in facilitating mate selection unclear. We will examine whether per...
Article
Full-text available
Social status is a central and universal feature of our highly social species. Reproductively relevant resources, including food, territory, mating opportunities, powerful coalitional alliances, and group-provided health care, flow to those high in status and trickle only slowly to those low in status. Despite its importance and centrality to human...
Article
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Considerable research has examined human mate preferences across cultures, finding universal sex differences in preferences for attractiveness and resources as well as sources of systematic cultural variation. Two competing perspectives—an evolutionary psychological perspective and a biosocial role perspective—offer alternative explanations for the...
Article
We developed and validated the Reasons for Disagreement in Romantic Relationships Scale (RDRRS). We conducted act nomination (Study 1), investigated the items’ component structure in a sample of newlywed couples (Study 2), and compared responses in the newlywed year to responses three years later (Study 3). First, we identified 82 reasons for disag...
Presentation
Full-text available
Sexual disgust is an emotion hypothesized to aid in mate selection, deterring individuals from selecting suboptimal mates or from engaging in risky sexual activities. Sexual disgust thresholds tend to be higher for men than women, and these differences are large and robust. Varying types of context-specific input might result in cross-cultural diff...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual disgust is an emotion hypothesized to deter individuals from engaging in sexual activities that are probabilistically detrimental to fitness. Existing measures of sexual disgust are limited in treating sexual disgust as a unitary construct, potentially missing its multidimensional nature, and inadvertently ignoring important adaptive problem...
Article
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Evolutionary mismatch concepts are being fruitfully employed in a number of research domains, including medicine, health, and human cognition and behavior to generate novel hypotheses and better understand existing findings. We contend that research on human mating will benefit from explicitly addressing both the evolutionary mismatch of the people...
Article
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Purpose of Review The aim of this review is to examine recent literature on the relationship between sexual disgust and aspects of female sexual functioning, with consideration of how an evolutionary perspective of this important emotion may help inform treatment and intervention programs. Recent Findings Researchers have begun to link sexual disg...
Article
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Humans express a wide array of ideal mate preferences. Around the world, people desire romantic partners who are intelligent, healthy, kind, physically attractive, wealthy, and more. In order for these ideal preferences to guide the choice of actual romantic partners, human mating psychology must possess a means to integrate information across thes...
Article
Research has documented 237 distinct reasons for engaging in sex, which have been clustered into the 141-item, 13 subscale YSEX? instrument. Although the YSEX? has impressive psychometric properties, the required completion time is a barrier to its use in time-constrained contexts. The current studies develop and validate a short-form version of th...
Article
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Short-term mating strategies involve casual sex, multiple partners, and short-time intervals before initiating intercourse. Such strategies should be difficult to implement in the presence of high levels of sexual disgust. Researchers have therefore suggested—and found evidence for—the hypothesis that individuals with a stronger proclivity for shor...
Article
Mate choice lies close to differential reproduction, the engine of evolution. Patterns of mate choice consequently have power to direct the course of evolution. Here we provide evidence suggesting one pattern of human mate choice—the tendency for mates to be similar in overall desirability—caused the evolution of a structure of correlations that we...
Article
We apply recent adaptationist theories about the emotions “pride” and “shame” to the domain of hierarchical status and test the hypothesis that pride and shame are distinct components of a culturally universal statusmanagement system. Using an international dataset containing ratings of the status impacts of 240 personal characteristics within 14 n...
Chapter
Full-text available
Historically, psychology has been characterized by a dichotomy between branches that focus on human nature and those that focus on individual differences. Initial “grand theories” of personality, such as those advanced by Freud, Maslow, and others, were interested in universal psychological features. For Freud, the emphasis was on sexual and aggres...
Book
Full-text available
Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind, 6th edition. Contains a major update of the past 4 years of research on topics ranging from mating to murder, from cooperation to status hierarchies. https://www.amazon.com/Evolutionary-Psychology-New-Science-Mind/dp/1138088617/ref=dp_ob_image_bk
Article
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Bodily attractiveness is an important component of mate value. Musculature-a crucial component of men's bodily attractiveness-provides women with probabilistic information regarding a potential mate's quality. Overall musculature is comprised of several muscle groups, each of which varies in information value; different muscles should be weighted d...
Article
Mating motives, informed by an evolutionary perspective, are central to marketing and consumer behavior. Humans have an evolved menu of mating strategies that vary along a temporal continuum anchored by long-term committed mating (e.g., marriage) and short-term mating (e.g., one-night stands, brief affairs). Men and women, although similar in some...
Article
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Evolved mate preferences comprise a central causal process in Darwin's theory of sexual selection. Their powerful influences have been documented in all sexually reproducing species, including in sexual strategies in humans. This article reviews the science of human mate preferences and their myriad behavioral manifestations. We discuss sex differe...
Chapter
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Article
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Cambridge Core - Social Psychology - The New Psychology of Love - edited by Robert J. Sternberg
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SCIENTIFIC In this paper, we argue that four interlocking barriers beset psychologists seeking to develop a proper science of social psychology. The first is the ideological orientation characteristic of most social psychologists—heavily skewed on the left side of the political spectrum. The second is the adoption of a view of human nature that soc...
Article
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Cyber aggression is a pervasive problem, yet evolutionary psychologists have been slow to address this area of research. We utilize an evolutionary perspective to provide a theoretical framework to address research that has found that women are more vulnerable to negative effects of cyber aggression. Studies of intrasexual competition suggest that...
Article
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Evolutionary theorizing suggests that chronological age, because it is so strongly linked with key reproductive qualities like fertility, should be an exceptionally consequential variable in mate selection. We review voluminous evidence for mate preferences for age and the substantial and varied behavioral sequelae of those preferences. These inclu...
Article
Mate retention and competitor derogation are two key components of human mate competition. In a conservative, religious sample from Pakistan (N = 255), the current study investigated evolutionarily informed hypotheses regarding a) sex differences in competitor derogation and mate retention, b) the relationship between mate value and mate retention...
Article
We propose that one function of competitive information sharing is success in intrasexual competition. We posit that the decision to share potentially damaging information about a competitor is sensitive to the probability of that information diminishing a competitor's mate value. According to Sexual Strategies Theory (Buss & Schmitt, 1993), men an...
Article
Full-text available
Sex differences in sexual regret are found to be robust across nations. Participants in Norway (N = 547) and the United States (N = 216) reported their level of regret for their most recent casual sexual experience. Participants also reported on proximate factors hypothesized to predict casual sex regret: negative emotions (worry), feeling pressure...
Article
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Infidelity poses threats to high-investment mating relationships. Because of gender differences in some aspects of reproductive biology, such as internal female fertilization, the nature of these threats differs for men and women. Men, but not women, for example, have recurrently faced the problem of uncertainty in their genetic parenthood. Jealous...
Article
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Despite the widespread use of high-heeled footwear in both developing and modernized societies, we lack an understanding of this behavioral phenomenon at both proximate and distal levels of explanation. The current manuscript advances and tests a novel, evolutionarily anchored hypothesis for why women wear high heels, and provides convergent suppor...
Article
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Women have consistently higher levels of disgust than men. This sex difference is substantial in magnitude, highly replicable, emerges with diverse assessment methods, and affects a wide array of outcomes—including job selection, mate choice, food aversions, and psychological disorders. Despite the importance of this far-reaching sex difference, so...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual regret was investigated across two disparate cultures: Norway (N = 853), a highly secular and sexually liberal culture, and the United States (N = 466), a more religious and more sexually conservative culture. Sex differences, individual differences in preferred mating strategy, religiosity, and cultural differences in sexual regret were ana...
Chapter
Full-text available
Intense jealousy can be emotional acid that corrodes marriages, undermines self-esteem, triggers battering, and is a key motive in the murder of mates and ex-mates (Buss, 2000a, 2000b; Buss & Duntley, 2011; Daly & Wilson, 1988; Daly, Wilson, & Weghorst, 1982). Extreme jealousy has been given many names in the clinical and psychiatric literature—The...
Article
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Despite interdependent reproductive fates that favor cooperation, males and females exhibit many psychological and behavioral footprints of sexually antagonistic coevolution. These include strategies of deception, sexual exploitation, and sexual infidelity as well as anti-exploitation defenses such as commitment skepticism and emotions such as sexu...