Entries in mate value (6)

Monday
Feb062017

A Kiss is More than Just a Kiss

Whereas kissing is commonly perceived as a display of affection in romantic relationships, research highlights a far more nuanced explanation regarding the “function” of kissing within relationships.1 Some research suggests that kissing enables individuals to assess the quality of potential partners by putting individuals in close proximity, making it easier to examine features that are associated with mate value, such as breath and skin texture.2 Other research suggests that kissing elevates levels of arousal, which may lead to sexual intercourse.3 A third body of research suggests that kissing can influence feelings of attachment, alleviate stress, and increase relationship satisfaction.4 Given these varied explanations, the question remains: is there a single purpose for kissing or do all these explanations hold truth?

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Monday
Jun222015

Is It Better to “Date Up” or Play Within Your Own League?

If you were to take 100 single people, all looking for a relationship, and put them in a room together for an evening, who would end up together? Although there are a myriad of factors that lead individuals to form romantic attachments, a longstanding theory in relationship science makes a simple prediction. Specifically, the matching hypothesis predicts that people will pair up with a partner who has the same social mate value.1 Your social mate value includes all of the factors that go into making you more or less desirable to date such as your physical attractiveness, your personality, etc. Essentially, according to the matching hypothesis, if you are a “7” out of 10 in terms of mate value you’ll end up with another “7,” or very close.  “10’s” go with “10’s,” “2’s” with “2’s” and so on.

Perhaps due to the matching hypothesis’s intuitive appeal, the field of social psychology has largely accepted it as true, despite a general lack of empirical support. To address this gap between theory and data, researchers from the University of California – Berkeley tested the matching hypothesis across several studies.

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Monday
Oct062014

His New iPhone May Signal He’s Single and Looking to Hook-Up

Expensive smartphones are more desirable to men who are single and seeking a hook up, according to researchers from Germany.1

When the iPhone 6 hit the market last month, it made headline news. That’s not unusual, as every iteration of Apple’s popular smartphone has fanboys lining up around the block. But not even the casual consumer has been deterred by the rumor that the iPhone 6 Plus is so slim and streamlined that, after 30 minutes stuffed in the pocket of your skinny jeans, it comes out bent as a boomerang. In fact, despite ‘bendgate’, the new iPhone is hot and expected to sell up to 80 million units in 2014 alone.2 Clearly, everybody wants one. But new research suggests that some men are more keen than others to fork out the cash for a high status smartphone.

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Friday
Mar012013

When a Flash of Skin Makes a Man Flash His Cash

I’m probably not the only person who’s wondered why muscle-car expos and auto-enthusiast magazines often feature attractive female models, or “car babes,” posing suggestively alongside (or on top of!) luxurious vehicles. Doesn’t the eye candy distract prospective buyers from the cars?

Maybe not. Turns out feminine curves and cold chrome aren’t such an unlikely combination after all. It all boils down to the need to impress a potential mate.

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Tuesday
Mar062012

Men Are More Generous in the Presence of Women

image source: chinasmack.comMen are more willing to donate money and volunteer for helpful causes that demonstrate virility (donating blood) and parental investment (helping children in need) when attractive women are around than when they are around other men or alone. Why? To pick up chicks, of course. Donating money and volunteering “signal” generosity, a valuable trait in a potential mate (for more examples of such showcasing, see here).

Van Vugt, M., & Iredale, W. (2012). Men behaving nicely: Public Goods as peacock tails. British Journal of Psychology. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8295.2011.02093.x

Tuesday
Aug302011

Negging: Do Women Really Like Guys Who Treat Them Like Crap?

A few years back, Neil Strauss published a book entitled The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists. The book chronicles Strauss’ journey from “chick repellant” to a master of seduction, a feat he accomplished by hiring a very expensive pickup “expert” to teach him the tricks of the trade. Among the things he learned was a technique known as “negging,” which essentially involves belittling a woman upon meeting her. The idea is that by lowering her self-esteem through a mild insult, she will be more easily seduced. In other words, if you can undermine her confidence, she’ll be more likely to settle for you instead of holding out for a better guy.

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