Archive for the ‘Evolution and Human Behavior’ Category

Sexual exploitability: observable cues and their link to sexual attraction

May 24, 2012 Comments off

Sexual exploitability: observable cues and their link to sexual attraction (PDF)
Source: Evolution and Human Behavior

Although antiexploitation adaptations, such as cheater-detection mechanisms, have been well explored, comparatively little research has focused on identifying adaptations for exploitation. The present study had two purposes: (1) to identify observable cues that afford information about which women are sexually exploitable and (2) to test the hypothesis that men find cues to sexual exploitability sexually attractive, an adaptation that functions to motivate pursuit of accessible women. Male participants rated photographs of women who displayed varying levels of hypothesized cues to exploitability. We identified 22 cues indicative of sexual exploitability. Nineteen of these cues were correlated significantly with sexual attractiveness, supporting the central hypothesis. Results suggest that sexual attraction to exploitability cues functions to motivate men to employ exploitative strategies towards accessible targets, and contribute foundational knowledge to the diverse classes of cues that afford information about which women are and are not sexually exploitable. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

See: Do Men Find Dumb-Looking Women More Attractive? (Slate)

Effects of eye images on everyday cooperative behavior: a field experiment

May 11, 2011 Comments off

Effects of eye images on everyday cooperative behavior: a field experiment (PDF)
Source: Evolution and Human Behavior

Laboratory studies have shown that images of eyes can cause people to behave more cooperatively in some economic games, and in a previous experiment, we found that eye images increased the level of contributions to an honesty box. However, the generality and robustness of the eyes effect is not known. Here, we extended our research on the effects of eye images on cooperative behavior to a novel context—littering behavior in a university cafeteria—and attempted to elucidate the mechanism by which they work, by displaying them both in conjunction with, and not associated with, verbal messages to clear one’s litter. We found a halving of the odds of littering in the presence of posters featuring eyes, as compared to posters featuring flowers. This effect was independent of whether the poster exhorted litter clearing or contained an unrelated message, suggesting that the effect of eye images cannot be explained by their drawing attention to verbal instructions. There was some support for the hypothesis that eye images had a larger effect when there were few people in the café than when the café was busy. Our results confirm that the effects of subtle cues of observation on cooperative behavior can be large in certain real-world contexts.


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