Marco Antônio Corrêa Varella

Marco Antônio Corrêa Varella
University of São Paulo | USP · Department of Experimental Psychology

PhD in Experimental Psychology
Evolutionary psychologist editor. Researches paleoaesthetics, music, arts, mate choice, sexual strategy, COVID pandemic.

About

101
Publications
128,831
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Introduction
Marco A. C. Varella is Lic.Sc. & B.Sc. in Biology, M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology. Has a Postdoc in Behavioral Genetics. Is currently a Postdoctoral researcher in Evolutionary Psychology at the Dept. of Experimental Psychology, University of São Paulo, Brazil. He has received international awards, such as The Ig Nobel 'Economics Prize 2020', 'The Margo Wilson Award' (Evol. Hum. Behav.) [2020], and the 'Editor's Choice Award for Evolutionary Psychology' (Front. Psychol.) [2021]. h= 10
Additional affiliations
November 2015 - December 2016
Escola Internacional Alphaville
Position
  • Teacher of Science and Biology
April 2013 - January 2015
University of Brasília
Position
  • Professor
Description
  • Teaching Introduction to Psychology
April 2013 - January 2015
University of Brasília
Position
  • Professor
Education
January 2010 - February 2011
McMaster University
Field of study
  • Voice and singing research, Arts and the Brain and Music Cognition
August 2007 - August 2011
University of São Paulo - Institute of Psychology
Field of study
  • Evolutionary Psychology/Musicology
August 2005 - August 2007
University of São Paulo - Institute of Psychology
Field of study
  • Evolutionary Psychology

Publications

Publications (101)
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased negative emotions and decreased positive emotions globally. Left unchecked, these emotional changes might have a wide array of adverse impacts. To reduce negative emotions and increase positive emotions, we tested the effectiveness of reappraisal, an emotion-regulation strategy that modifies how one thinks about...
Article
Full-text available
How does psychology vary across human societies? The fundamental social motives framework adopts an evolutionary approach to capture the broad range of human social goals within a taxonomy of ancestrally recurring threats and opportunities. These motives—self-protection, disease avoidance, affiliation, status, mate acquisition, mate retention, and...
Article
Full-text available
Jealousy is an affective state activated by a perceived threat to a valued relationship by a third party. On average, males report higher distress about their partner’s sexual extra-pair involvement, while females show higher emotional jealousy. These sex differences are specific to heterosexuals and to contexts with potential reproductive costs. W...
Article
Full-text available
Since Darwin proposed that human musicality evolved through sexual selection, empirical evidence has supported intersexual selection as one of the adaptive functions of artistic propensities. However, intrasexual competition has been overlooked. We tested their relative importance by investigating the relationship between the self-perceived talent/...
Article
Full-text available
By conceptualizing Sexual Selection, Darwin showed a way to analyze intra-specific individual differences within an evolutionary perspective. Interestingly, Sexual Selection is often used to investigate the origins of sports, arts, humor, religion and other phenomena that, in several languages, are simply called “play.” Despite their manifested dif...
Article
Significance Communicating in ways that motivate engagement in social distancing remains a critical global public health priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study tested motivational qualities of messages about social distancing (those that promoted choice and agency vs. those that were forceful and shaming) in 25,718 people in 89 countries...
Article
Full-text available
There are numerous classifications of physical activities (PAs). However, they lack precise grouping criteria and tend to vary according to each author. Among other factors, the individual's level of motivation is considered an important aspect of PA maintenance. In this study, we aimed to (1) compare several PAs according to intrinsic (Interest, E...
Article
Full-text available
Women wearing makeup are perceived by others as more attractive, competent, dominant, and more socially prestigious. Individuals differ in how much and how frequently they use makeup. Some studies show that women with lower self-esteem use more makeup, probably to hide imperfections. However, women with higher self-esteem can also use makeup to att...
Preprint
Dark triad (DT) refers to a set of personality traits (Machiavellianism, psychopathy and narcissism) related to low empathy and socially aversive behavior. The nocturnal cognitive niche hypothesis suggests that the DT was advantageous in a nocturnal niche to enact a “cheater” strategy and thus this constellation of traits is linked with an evening...
Article
Full-text available
Feeling and expressing love is at the core of romantic relationships, but individuals differ in their proclivity to worry about their relationships and/or avoid intimacy. Saying ‘I love you’ signals a commitment to a future with our romantic partner. Contrary to gender stereotypes, research in the US demonstrates that men are more likely to confess...
Article
Full-text available
Darwin explored the evolutionary processes underlying artistic propensities in humans. He stressed the universality of the human mind by pointing to the shared pleasure which all populations take in dancing, engaging in music, acting, painting, tattooing, and self-decorating. Artistic motivation drives/reinforces individuals to engage in aesthetica...
Article
Full-text available
Appearance modification is ancient, universal and influences other and self-perceptions. It has been rarely addressed how expectation of appearance modification would affect women’s self-perception. We analyzed self-assessments of women without makeup and after having makeup professionally applied at four increasing levels (light, moderate, heavy 1...
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
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased negative emotions and decreased positive emotions globally. Left unchecked, these emotional changes might have a wide array of adverse impacts. To reduce negative emotions and increase positive emotions, we tested the effectiveness of reappraisal, an emotion-regulation strategy that modifies how one thinks about...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased negative emotions and decreased positive emotions globally. Left unchecked, these emotional changes might have a wide array of adverse impacts. To reduce negative emotions and increase positive emotions, we tested the effectiveness of reappraisal, an emotion-regulation strategy that modifies how one thinks about...
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
The presence of pathogens has imposed constant threats to human survival and reproduction. Selective pressures exerted by pathogens have shaped our array of immune functions—including physiological, psychological, and behavioral immune systems. Pathogens and epidemics have plagued humankind and our ancestors from their dawn, yet despite advances in...
Article
Full-text available
The current research aimed to examine the reasons people are single, that is, not in an intimate relationship, across eight different countries-Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, India, Japan, and the UK. We asked a large cross-cultural sample of single participants (N = 6,822) to rate 92 different possible reasons for being single. Th...
Article
Full-text available
Humans have been using fire for hundreds of millennia, creating an ancestral expansion toward the nocturnal niche. The new adaptive challenges faced at night were recurrent enough to amplify existing psychological variation in our species. Night-time is dangerous and mysterious, so it selects for individuals with higher tendencies for paranoia, ris...
Article
Full-text available
Sexual selection, including mate choice and intrasexual competition, is responsible for the evolution of some of the most elaborated and sexually dimorphic traits in animals. Although there is sexual dimorphism in the shape of human faces, it is not clear whether this is similarly due to mate choice, or whether mate choice affects only part of the...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a global societal, economic, and social upheaval unseen in living memory. There have been substantial cross-national differences in the kinds of policies implemented by political decision-makers to prevent the spread of the virus, to test the population, and to manage infected patients. Among other factors, these po...
Article
Full-text available
Number of romantic/sexual relationships is suggested as a proxy of potential reproductive success. Cross-culturally, both sexes desire playful long-term mates and playfulness predicts relationship quality. It is yet to be tested, however, if playfulness is associated with number of long- and short-term relationships. We hypothesised that specific p...
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...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: To examine changes in planning, selecting, and preparing healthy foods in relation to personal factors (time, money, stress) and social distancing policies during the COVID-19 crisis. Methods: Using cross-sectional online surveys collected in 38 countries worldwide in April-June 2020 (N = 37,207, Mage 36.7 SD 14.8, 77% women), we compa...
Preprint
Appearance modification is ancient, universal, and influences other- and selfperceptions. The role of expectation of appearance modification has never beeninvestigated. We analyzed self-assessments of women without makeup and after having makeup professionally applied at four increasing levels. In the simulation phase,women were treated with colorl...
Preprint
Full-text available
Number of romantic/sexual relationships is suggested as a proxy of potential reproductive success. Cross-culturally, both sexes desire playful long-term mates and playfulness predicts relationship quality. It is yet to be tested, however, if playfulness is associated with number of long-term and short-term relationships. We hypothesized that specif...
Preprint
Human sexual orientation is an intriguing phenomenon which is still poorly understood and has important evolutionary implications. Evolutionary based studies mostly focus on heterosexual individuals and relationships, probably because non-heterosexuality concerns a minority of the population and decreases individual direct reproductive success. To...
Preprint
Human sexual orientation is an intriguing phenomenon which is still poorly understood and has important evolutionary implications. Evolutionary based studies mostly focus on heterosexual individuals and relationships, probably because non-heterosexuality concerns a minority of the population and decreases individual direct reproductive success. To...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past 10 years, Oosterhof and Todorov’s valence–dominance model has emerged as the most prominent account of how people evaluate faces on social dimensions. In this model, two dimensions (valence and dominance) underpin social judgements of faces. Because this model has primarily been developed and tested in Western regions, it is unclear w...
Article
Evidence suggests that personality may influence romantic relationship quality in several ways. Quality of relationship can be affected by an individual's personality (actor effect), partner's personality (partner effect), by discrepancy between ideal and actual partners' personalities (discrepancy effect), or by similarity between partners' person...
Article
Full-text available
We developed a cascade model to reconstruct the hypothesized developmental progression from (a) increased resource instability during childhood to (b) decreased maternal sensitivity during childhood to (c) social vulnerability cognitive schemata to (d) faster Life History strategies to (e) decreased behavioral regulation to (f) more pronounced “Dar...
Preprint
Jealousy promotes relationship maintenance by reducing partners’ extra-pair liaisons. On average, men report higher distress about their partner’s sexual infidelity, while women show higher emotional jealousy. These sex differences are specific to heterosexuals, and to contexts with potential reproductive costs. Here we tested the effect of sex and...
Preprint
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a global societal, economic, and social upheaval unseen in living memory. There have been substantial differences in the kinds of policies implemented by political decision-makers to prevent the spread of the virus, to test the population, and to manage infected patients. Among other factors, these policies vary wit...
Article
During evolution, humans faced the trade-off between preferences for feminine and masculine traits which are connected to parental care, and genetic quality or provisioning abilities, respectively. Recent research has shown that environmental factors influence preferences for femininity/masculinity in potential mates. However, studies mainly focus...
Article
Appearance alterations are an important part of human history, culture, and evolution that can serve many functions. Cross-culturally, women more than men use makeup as a specific, temporary, personalized, and relatively accessible technique for appearance alteration. Women wear makeup to attract attention and/or to mask their imperfections, and in...
Article
Jealousy is supposed to secure the relationship against a third party. Both partners face significant potential costs in case of the partner desertion caused by an extra-pair liaison. However, studies systematically find higher emotional and overall jealousy among women. Interestingly, sex differences in jealousy do not appear among non-heterosexua...
Article
Full-text available
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...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sexual selection, including mate choice and intrasexual competition, is responsible for the evolution of some of the most elaborated and sexually dimorphic traits in animals. Although there is clear sexual dimorphism in the shape of human faces, it is not clear whether this is similarly due to mate choice, or whether mate choice affects only part o...
Article
Full-text available
Sociosexuality, i.e. individual's willingness to engage in uncommitted sex, is systematically higher in men than in women, and can be considered a male typical trait. However, intrasexual variation in sociosexuality is considerable , with individual femininity/masculinity being one of the factors influencing sociosexuality. The aim of our study was...
Article
Full-text available
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...
Poster
Full-text available
INTRODUCCIÓN La gemelaridad no es común entre los humanos, aunque existe gran variabilidad entre poblaciones. Varios estudios identifican factores demográficos y socioeconómicos influyendo en la tasa de gemelaridad (TG). En Uruguay existen escasos estudios, por lo cual en 2017 iniciamos una colaboración con el Panel de Gemelos de USP, centrada en d...
Article
Life History Theory has been proposed as a trade-off between allocation of resources into growth or reproduction. Within the reproductive domain, individuals are theorized to mostly invest either in mating or parenting. We tested effects of sociosexuality and Dark Triad traits on both mating and parenting efforts. In total, 1,110 heterosexual Middl...
Preprint
Full-text available
Over the last ten years, Oosterhof and Todorov’s valence-dominance model has emerged as the most prominent account of how people evaluate faces on social dimensions. In this model, two dimensions (valence and dominance) underpin social judgments of faces. Because this model has primarily been developed and tested in Western regions, it is unclear w...
Article
Full-text available
Perceived vocal attractiveness and measured sex-dimorphic vocal parameters are both associated with underlying individual qualities. Research tends to focus on speech but singing is another highly evolved communication system that has distinct and universal features with analogs in other species, and it is relevant in mating. Both speaking and sing...
Article
Femininity-masculinity affects perceived attractiveness and indicates biosocial qualities. Physiological and morphological femininity-masculinity is primarily influenced by reproductive hormones; however, its perception is mediated biopsychosocially, and it is not clear if self- and other-rated femininity-masculinity is associated. We examined poss...
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
Full-text available
Romantic mouth-to-mouth kissing is culturally widespread, although not a human universal, and may play a functional role in assessing partner health and maintaining long-term pair bonds. Use and appreciation of kissing may therefore vary according to whether the environment places a premium on good health and partner investment. Here, we test for c...
Article
Multicomponent stimuli improve information reception. In women, perceived facial and vocal femininity-masculinity (FM)are concordant; however, mixed results are found for men. Some feminine and masculine traits are related to sex hormone action and can indicate reproductive qualities. However, most of the current research about human mate choice fo...
Chapter
Full-text available
Multiple pregnancies occur in humans and other primates, which indicate that the twinning propensity is phylogenetically old. Factors such as decreased sexual dimorphism and size, rich and diverse nutrition and paternal care are related to multiple pregnancies in other animals. In human populations, despite its costs, twinning has a genetic basis a...
Article
Full-text available
At the core of anthropomorphism lies a false positive cognitive bias to over-attribute the pattern of the human body and/or mind. Anthropomorphism is independently discussed in various disciplines, is presumed to have deep biological roots, but its cognitive bases are rarely explored in an integrative way. Conversely, I present an inclusive, multif...
Article
Full-text available
Concerns about the veracity of psychological research have been growing. Many findings in psychological science are based on studies with insufficient statistical power and nonrepresentative samples, or may otherwise be limited to specific, ungeneralizable settings or populations. Crowdsourced research, a type of large-scale collaboration in which...
Article
Objectives Facial averageness and sexual dimorphism are extensively studied attractiveness markers, which are viewed as possible indicators of biological quality. Both are complex morphological traits, and both can be easily assessed from frontal and lateral projection of a human face. Interestingly, examination of mutual relations between the fron...
Article
Full-text available
Research into face processing consistently shows an outgroup disadvantage in areas such as recognition memory and emotional identification. Potential ingroup advantage with respect to inferences regarding personality and behavioural outcomes, on the other hand, has not yet been studied. In the present study, we used the faces of male professional m...