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Dominance, Prosocial Orientation, and Female Preferences: Do Nice Guys Really Finish Last

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Dominance, Prosocial Orientation, and Female Preferences: Do Nice Guys Really Finish Last

Abstract

Three multimethod studies (total N = 348) probed the hypothesis that women's attraction to men would be influenced by male prosocial orientation. In Study 1, prosocial men were rated as more physically and sexually attractive, socially desirable, and desirable as dates than were nonprosocial men. Dominant men were no more attractive than low-dominance men, and male dominance did not interact with male prosocial orientation in eliciting attraction from women. In Study 2, prosocial orientation was manipulated to avoid "personalism," but still affected attraction. Across all measures attraction was an interactive function of dominance and prosocial tendencies. Dominance alone did not increase any form of attraction measured. In Study 3, male prosocial tendencies and dominance interacted to affect women's attraction to men. Results are discussed in terms of the place of altruism and dominance in evolutionary approaches to human interpersonal attraction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
... They found that while men coded for high dominance were preferred in ratings of attractiveness and desirability in short-term relationships, those coded for high prestige were preferred in all other instances (Snyder et al., 2008). Moreover, other studies find that, for long-term relationships, women prefer men with high status who exhibit warmth and agreeableness but low aggression (Jensen-Campbell, Graziano, & West, 1995;Weisfeld, 1993;Gangestad et al., 2004). Thus our finding that the positive effect of humorousness on attractiveness is largely mediated via prestige offers an explanation as to why humorousness is valued by females in the context of long-term but not short-term mate selection (Gangestad, Garver-Apgar, Simpson, & Cousins, 2007;Prokosch, Coss, Scheib, & Blozis, 2009). ...
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We conducted a cross-cultural experiment on a sample of 230 participants, to examine how listening to an audio recording of a male telling a joke followed by either laughter (humorous condition) or an unimpressed murmur (non-humorous condition) affected participant ratings of that male’s social status, dominance, prestige and attractiveness. The experiment followed a between-subjects design. The sample was cross-cultural to explore possible cultural variation and compared effects among Western (UK & USA) ( n = 119, 74 females) and Turkish ( n = 111, 87 females) participants. We measured participants’ ratings of dominance/prestige and attractiveness, based on validated and previously used scales. In the humorous condition, the male was rated as having significantly higher social status and prestige but not dominance. He was also rated as more attractive by female participants from the UK & USA; this effect was mediated by prestige. Conversely, attractiveness ratings by female Turkish participants did not differ across conditions. The effect among the former was found to have been mediated via prestige. We interpret these findings as suggesting that humor production represents a means of gaining status but also highlighting that its recognized role in attractiveness varies cross-culturally. Although the present endeavor represents a pilot study, we believe that our findings raise new questions regarding the interrelationships of humor production, status, and attractiveness, and their evolutionary background.
... As an important limitation, our analysis cannot provide further answers about the causal mechanisms. The effect of marriage may arise because prosocial people are more attractive marriage partners (e.g., Jensen-Campbell et al., 1995;Margana et al., 2019;Tognetti et al., 2012) or more interested in marrying (Li et al., 2011). It also might stem from specific experiences of marriage (Specht et al., 2011) or bargaining between married partners with different preferences (Chiappori and Ekeland, 2006), as well as social control that tends to be stronger for couples than for singles, particularly for married men (Umberson, 1992). ...
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Single people are more likely to die from COVID-19. Here, we study whether this higher death rate could be partly explained by differences in compliance with protective health measures against COVID-19 between single and married people, and the drivers of this marital compliance gap. Data collected from 46,450 respondents in 67 countries reveal that married people are more likely to comply with protective measures than single people. This marital gap in compliance is higher for men (approximately 5%) than for women (approximately 2%). These results are robust across a large range of countries and independent of country level differences with respect to culture, values or infection rates. Prosocial characteristics linked to morality and social belonging explain more than 38% of the marital gap, while individual risk perceptions play a minor role. These findings help explain single people’s and particularly single men’s greater vulnerability to COVID-19, which in turn can be leveraged to improve the effectiveness of international public policy campaigns aimed at promoting protective health measures.
... Empirical research has indeed demonstrated how such costly altruism can bring reputational benefits that lead the person receiving more resources from others in the long run (Nowak & Sigmund, 2005;Wedekind & Milinski, 2000). Furthermore, such costly signaling might not only make the person more attractive collaboration partner but also more attractive mating partner (Jensen-Campbell, Graziano, & West, 1995), which also brings obvious fitness benefits. Thus -although a full review of the empirical evidence would require much more extensive treatment than what is possible here -a reasonable set of empirical research supports the notion that contribution as a self-justifying value could be grounded in an empirically universal basic motivational disposition to want to make a positive impact. ...
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In Hidden Depths, Professor Penny Spikins explores how our emotional connections have shaped human ancestry. Focusing on three key transitions in human origins, Professor Spikins explains how the emotional capacities of our early ancestors evolved in response to ecological changes, much like similar changes in other social mammals. For each transition, dedicated chapters examine evolutionary pressures, responses in changes in human emotional capacities and the archaeological evidence for human social behaviours. Starting from our earliest origins, in Part One, Professor Spikins explores how after two million years ago, movement of human ancestors into a new ecological niche drove new types of collaboration, including care for vulnerable members of the group. Emotional adaptations lead to cognitive changes, as new connections based on compassion, generosity, trust and inclusion also changed our relationship to material things. Part Two explores a later key transition in human emotional capacities occurring after 300,000 years ago. At this time changes in social tolerance allowed ancestors of our own species to further reach out beyond their local group and care about distant allies, making human communities resilient to environmental changes. An increasingly close relationship to animals, and even to cherished possessions, appeared at this time, and can be explained through new human vulnerabilities and ways of seeking comfort and belonging. Lastly, Part Three focuses on the contrasts in emotional dispositions arising between ourselves and our close cousins, the Neanderthals. Neanderthals are revealed as equally caring yet emotionally different humans, who might, if things had been different, have been in our place today. This new narrative breaks away from traditional views of human evolution as exceptional or as a linear progression towards a more perfect form. Instead, our evolutionary history is situated within similar processes occurring in other mammals, and explained as one in which emotions, rather than ‘intellect’, were key to our evolutionary journey. Moreover, changes in emotional capacities and dispositions are seen as part of differing pathways each bringing strengths, weaknesses and compromises. These hidden depths provide an explanation for many of the emotional sensitivities and vulnerabilities which continue to influence our world today.
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In Hidden Depths, Professor Penny Spikins explores how our emotional connections have shaped human ancestry. Focusing on three key transitions in human origins, Professor Spikins explains how the emotional capacities of our early ancestors evolved in response to ecological changes, much like similar changes in other social mammals. For each transition, dedicated chapters examine evolutionary pressures, responses in changes in human emotional capacities and the archaeological evidence for human social behaviours. Starting from our earliest origins, in Part One, Professor Spikins explores how after two million years ago, movement of human ancestors into a new ecological niche drove new types of collaboration, including care for vulnerable members of the group. Emotional adaptations lead to cognitive changes, as new connections based on compassion, generosity, trust and inclusion also changed our relationship to material things. Part Two explores a later key transition in human emotional capacities occurring after 300,000 years ago. At this time changes in social tolerance allowed ancestors of our own species to further reach out beyond their local group and care about distant allies, making human communities resilient to environmental changes. An increasingly close relationship to animals, and even to cherished possessions, appeared at this time, and can be explained through new human vulnerabilities and ways of seeking comfort and belonging. Lastly, Part Three focuses on the contrasts in emotional dispositions arising between ourselves and our close cousins, the Neanderthals. Neanderthals are revealed as equally caring yet emotionally different humans, who might, if things had been different, have been in our place today. This new narrative breaks away from traditional views of human evolution as exceptional or as a linear progression towards a more perfect form. Instead, our evolutionary history is situated within similar processes occurring in other mammals, and explained as one in which emotions, rather than ‘intellect’, were key to our evolutionary journey. Moreover, changes in emotional capacities and dispositions are seen as part of differing pathways each bringing strengths, weaknesses and compromises. These hidden depths provide an explanation for many of the emotional sensitivities and vulnerabilities which continue to influence our world today.
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The consistency of physical attractiveness ratings across cultural groups was examined. In Study 1, recently arrived native Asian and Hispanic students and White Americans rated the attractiveness of Asian, Hispanic, Black, and White photographed women. The mean correlation between groups in attractiveness ratings was r = .93. Asians, Hispanics, and Whites were equally influenced by many facial features, but Asians were less influenced by some sexual maturity and expressive features. In Study 2, Taiwanese attractiveness ratings correlated with prior Asian, Hispanic, and American ratings, mean r = .91. Supporting Study 1, the Taiwanese also were less positively influenced by certain sexual maturity and expressive features. Exposure to Western media did not influence attractiveness ratings in either study. In Study 3, Black and White American men rated the attractiveness of Black female facial photos and body types. Mean facial attractiveness ratings were highly correlated ( r = .94), but as predicted Blacks and Whites varied in judging bodies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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