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Abilities Attract? The Effects of Different Types of Intelligence, Social-Emotional Competence, and Creativity on Mate Appeal in Speed Dating

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Abstract

An increasing body of research suggests that a person's intelligence affects his/her desirability as a partner, particularly for long-term (LT) relationships. Some studies report that women place more weight on intelligence than men do. There is also indication that creativity can predict a person's ST and LT mate appeal independently from intelligence. Intelligence facets might differ in their relationship to mate appeal, given that they seem to be differently observable. However, scientific investigation into this question is still lacking. Equally little is known about the desirability of social-emotional competence in a potential partner. The present study aimed to close these gaps by investigating the effects of verbal, numerical, and spatial intelligence, creativity, and intra- and interpersonal emotional competence on mate appeal. 177 heterosexual individuals (88 female) aged between 18 and 30 (M = 22.5, SD = 2.8) participated in one of seven speed-dating events. After each meeting, individuals rated each other on the aforementioned ability domains and their desire to have a ST and LT relationship with each other. Psychometric measures for all performance domains were completed in a separate session. Social relations modelling within a multilevel modelling framework will be used to examine target effects for ST and LT mate appeal, which will then be predicted from objectively measured and subjectively estimated abilities. Externally rated physical attractiveness will be included as control variable and gender as moderator. This study allows for an ecologically valid investigation of both subjectively rated and objectively measured abilities as determinants of mate appeal.
ABILITIES ATTRACT?
THE EFFECTS OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF INTELLIGENCE,
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL COMPETENCE, AND CREATIVITY ON
MATE APPEAL IN SPEED DATING
DPPD 2019
Gabriela Hofer (gabriela.hofer@uni-graz.at, Twitter: @sci_gab)
Roman Burkart
Laura Langmann
Aljoscha C. Neubauer
1
with the exception of
images (pixabay or pexels
no-attribution-needed
license)
Slides available:
https://osf.io/meetings
/DPPD2019/
WHY ABILITIES SHOULD ATTRACT
2
Main literature Method Results Outlook & Discussion
associated with success
greater access to resources
(Prokosch, Coss, Scheib, & Blozis, 2009)
potential fitness indicator
(Miller, 2000)
Intelligence
Social-
emotional
competence
associated with relationship
satisfaction
(Malouff, Schutte, & Thorsteinsson, 2014)
Creativity
discussed as proxy for
intelligence (e.g., Watkins, 2017)
among highest ranked attributes
in prospective mates
(Buss et al., 1990; see also Gignac, Darbyshire,
& Ooi, 2018)
DO ABILITIES ATTRACT?
Mate choices:
Women put more weight on rated intelligence than men, whereas men put more
weight on rated attractiveness (Fisman, Iyengar, Kamenica, & Simonson, 2006)
Men rated as unattractive but intelligent might still be chosen, whereas women have
to match gains in intelligence with increases in attractiveness
(Karbowski, Deja, & Zawisza, 2016)
Short-term (ST) and long-term (LT) mate appeal:
Men‘s objective intelligence & rated intelligence and creativity predict their ST and
LT mate appeal to women who have watched short videos of them
(Prokosch, Coss, Scheib, & Blozis, 2009)
Effects considerably reduced when including physical attractiveness as predictor
3
Main literature Method Results Outlook & Discussion
AIMS
Investigate how different (verbal, numerical, & spatial
intelligence, creativity, & intra- and interpersonal emotional
competence) objectively measured abilities can predict ST and
LT mate appeal
Use of a paradigm that allows for genuine interactions between
individuals with the possibility of actual mate choice
4
Main literature Method Results Outlook & Discussion
RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. Which abilities do attract?
2. Do these associations still hold when controlling for
physical attractiveness?
3. Is gender a moderator of the effects of abilities and
physical attractiveness on mate appeal?
5
Main literature Method Results Outlook & Discussion
METHOD
n= 261
n= 212
completed friend-
estimates of abilities
6
Main literature Method Results Outlook & Discussion
n= 193
verbal, numerical, & spatial
intelligence
(IST-2000 R similarities, number series, &
figure selection; Liepmann, Beauducel, Brocke
& Amthauer, 2007)
creativity
(fluency & originality in the alternative uses
task; AUT; Guilford, 1967)
inter- and intrapersonal
emotional abilities
(TEMT; Freudenthaler & Neubauer, 2005)
7
Main literature Method Results Outlook & Discussion
METHOD
METHOD
Main literature Method Results Outlook & Discussion
1143 speed dates
7 sessions with between 11
and 14 &
(overall 90:90)
photographed before
sessions
3 min per date
scorecard after each date
8
(Procedure adapted from Asendorpf,
Penke, & Back, 2011; Jauk et al., 2016)
METHOD
Main literature Method Results Outlook & Discussion
External attractiveness
ratings
10 raters (5 )
6-point scale
(not attractive at all very
attractive)
ICC = .46 (95% CI [.40,
.52]
9
Note: Picture from pexels.com (no actual participant)
MAIN DESCRIPTIVES
n= 177 (after 3 exclusions: 1 conspicuousness during data collection, 2 self-reported
homosexual)
89 , 88 ; Age: 18 30, M= 22.5, SD = 2.8
10
Main literature Method Results Outlook & Discussion
* included for power purposes because each individual indicated to want to see others for further dates
Occupation
University students Other
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual Bisexual or other
Relationship status
Single
Open relationship
Monogamous relationship
*
ANALYSES
11
Social relations modelling (SRM, see Kenny, Kashy, & Cook, 2006) using multilevel modelling based on
the tutorial for IBM SPSS (Ackerman, Kashy, and Corretti, 2015)
Basic principle:
= + +
Rating,
e.g.,
long-term
mate
appeal
Perceiver
variance
Target
variance
Relationship
(+ error)
variance
Main literature Method Results Outlook & Discussion
Intelligence?
VARIANCE PARTITIONING & RECIPROCITIES
12
Relative % of variance
accounted for by SRM
component
Perceiver
Target
Relationship
+ error
Total
variance
ST mate appeal
Man to woman
33.15*
21.32*
45.53 1.92
Woman to man
24.32*
20.07*
55.61 1.30
LT mate appeal
Man to woman
32.31*
16.68*
51.01 1.80
Woman to man
31.52*
11.62*
56.86 1.26
Generalized
reciprocity
coefficients
Dyadic
reciprocity
coefficients
W
M
M
W
-.199 -.062 .025
-.167 -.071 .114*
* p< .05
Main literature Method Results Outlook & Discussion
WHICH
ABILITIES
ATTRACT?
13
Short-term mate appeal Long-term mate appeal
Women Men Women Men
β
[95 % CI]
p
β
[95 % CI]
p
β
[95 % CI]
p
β
[95 % CI]
p
Verbal intelligence
-.11
[-.25, .05]
.165
- .02
[-.15, .10]
.712
- .11
[-.25, .03]
.126
-.04
[-.14, .06]
.418
Numerical intelligence
.09
[-.08, .27]
.290
.08
[-.07, .22]
.315
.14
[-.02, .29]
.080
.06
[-.06, .18]
.316
Spatial intelligence
.05
[-.11, .21]
.558
-.04
[-.17, .10]
.571
-.04
[-.18, .10]
.545
-.04
[-.15, .07]
.488
Creativity
- Fluency .23
[.06, .39]
.007
.05
[-.07, .17]
.438
.15
[.003, .3]
.045
.02
[-.08, .11]
.766
Creativity
- Originality .15
[-.01, .31]
.072
-.07
[-.19, .05]
.225
.13
[-.01, .28]
.072
-.001
[-.10, .09]
.981
Intrapersonal EMA
.14
[-.03, .31]
.116
-.02
[-.16, .12]
.816
.13
[-.02, .28]
.089
.01
[-.10, .12]
.821
Interpersonal EMA
-.11
[-.29, .08]
.251
.06
[-.06, .18]
.341
-.04
[-.20, .12]
.614
.07
[-.02, .16]
.138
Main literature Method Results Outlook & Discussion
Note: βs obtained by standardizing based on pairwise data for mate appeal variables and personwise data
for individual difference variables, see also Jauk et al., 2016; gender = target gender; bold = p < .05.
ROBUSTNESS
OF EFFECTS
14
Short-term mate appeal Long-term mate appeal
Women Men Women Men
β
[95 % CI]
p
β
[95 % CI]
p
β
[95 % CI]
p
β
[95 % CI]
p
Model 1
Creativity
- Fluency .23
[.06, .39]
.007 .05
[-.07, .17]
.438 .15
[.003, .30]
.045 .02
[-.08, .11]
.766
Creativity
- Originality .15
[-.01, .31]
.072 -.07
[-.19, .05]
.225 .13
[-.01, .28]
.072 -.001
[-.10, .09]
.981
Model 2
Physical Attractiveness
.37
[.30, .45]
< .001 .26
[.18, .34]
< .001 .34
[.25, .42]
< .001 .13
[.06, .21]
.001
Model 3
Physical Attractiveness
.35
[.26, .43]
< .001 .26
[.18, .34]
< .001 .31
[.23, .40]
< .001 .13
[.06, .21]
.001
Creativity
- Fluency .07
[-.02, .16]
.135 -.01
[-.08, .07]
.874 .03
[-.06, .13]
.480 -.003
[-.08, .07]
.926
Creativity
- Originality .04
[-.05, .13]
.332 -.04
[-.10, .03]
.318 .05
[-.05, .14]
.339 .010
[-.06, .08]
.780
Main literature Method Results Outlook & Discussion
Note: βs obtained by standardizing based on pairwise data for mate appeal variables and personwise data
for individual difference variables, see also Jauk et al., 2016; gender = target gender; bold = p < .05.
&
Gender =
moderator
INDIV. LEVEL CORRELATIONS - PERFORMANCE
15
Main literature Method Results Outlook & Discussion
INDIV. LEVEL CORRELATIONS PERCEIVED ABILITY
16
Main literature Method Results Outlook & Discussion
17
Main literature Method Results Outlook & Discussion
Objective measures:
Perceived abilities:
different picture:
Main
findings
LT
LT
, LT
OPEN QUESTIONS
Difference performance vs. subjective ability ratings?
How are abilities associated with actual mate-choice?
gpossibly might be more important than single subfactors?
Appeal of intelligence dependent on its level Threshold
hypothesis of intelligence (see Gignac, Darbyshire, & Ooi, 2018)
18
Main literature Method Results Outlook & Discussion
to come
DO ABILITIES ATTRACT?
1. It is
complicated!
2. It makes
sense to look
at perceived
and
measured
abilities.
Main literature Method Results Outlook & Discussion
DISCUSSION
20
Main literature Method Results Outlook & Discussion
CAN ABILITIES EVEN BE
INFERRED ACCURATELY
AFTER SUCH A SHORT
TIME?
Ability perception at first sight:
Self-other knowledge asymmetries
within a speed dating paradigm
Presented at ISSID 2019
Slides available: https://osf.io/aq8us/
21
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European Journal of Personality, 25, 1630. https://doi.org/10.1002/per.768
Buss, D. M. (1998). Sexual strategies theory: Historical origins and current status.
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Fisman, R., Iyengar, S. S., Kamenica, E., & Simonson, I. (2006). Gender Differences in
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