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Knowing the Desires of Potential Sex Partners: A Slice of Mating Intelligence Glenn Geher State University of New York at New Paltz. A Brief History of Ideas . Mating Intelligence: Sex, Relationships, and the Mind's Reproductive System Glenn Geher Geoffrey Miller.
Should Mating Psychology and Intelligence be Linked?How reasonable is the integration of mating and intelligence in the minds of scientists?
Analysis of articles in Evolution and Human Behavior for content tied to intelligence:Only 1 (0.3%) of 311 articles dealt with intelligence at all.
Analysis of articles in Journal of Social and Personal Relationships for content tied to intelligence:Only 2 (0.2%) of 939 articles dealt with intelligence at all.
... not necessarily ...
It was first published in 2000.
... but back to the main ideas of this talk ...
Such as the ability to generate complex mathematical formulas to represent the physical world ...
“New letters shed light on Einstein’s love life …Einstein admitted he spent time with six other women while married”
What is Mating Intelligence?Miller’s answer: All aspects of human intelligence that were primarily designed for courtship purposes (roughly: all indices of creative intelligence with no clear survival value)
Miller’s conceptualization proposes that all intelligence is mating intelligence, on one hand – but his link between such intelligence and mating is decidedly indirect ...
But what about all the cognitive abilities that relate directly to human mating? Cross-Sex Mind-Reading Detecting Infidelity Assessing One’s Own Mate-Value Assessing Value of Potential MatesStrategic Flexibility in the Mating Market
Cognitive Mating Mechanisms
Mental Fitness Displays
How well do you know the desires of potential mates?
Are there systematic biases in mind-reading that are relatively intelligent?
The Ability-Based Method for Studying Emotional Intelligence (Mayer & Geher, 1996)
Heterosexual Young Adults (Males: 152; Females: 329)
A: I love sex, generally, and … BLEEPED … in particular. No strings, no reciprocation necessary (although I wouldn’t be adverse to it!). You call the shots as much or as little as you wish. I’ve explored the Kinky.
B: I grow more humble but no less passionate about life every waking day. I laugh at myself, care about a lot, and strive to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. I’m pretty simple, but have many talents: play several instruments, and I’m a decent gardener.
C: I fully recognize that succeeding means drawing on multiple talents, the best that everyone has to offer—so it seems with relationships. I enjoy many of life’s fine refinements, but I also realize that the best things in life are free.
To guess which of these three ads was chosen by most women as the most attractive for a short-term, sexual relationship.
4 Total Indices were computed in this study:
Male Short-Term Mating Intelligence:
Not Necessarily ... Haselton & Buss (2000) – Error Management Theory
Males tend to overestimate sexual interest on the part of females
(The “I think she likes me that way” Bias)
Females tend to be Commitment Skeptics
(The “all men are pigs” Bias)
All ads were rated by two independent judges in terms of presence of sexual content (categorically defined as present or not)
Sample Male Short-Term Item coded as having sexual content:
I love sex, generally, and … BLEEP … in particular...
Sample Female Short-Term Item coded as having sexual content:
I am searching for a fling of epic proportions, someone to caress my face as we kiss and who will write me love notes and leave them under my door—but will not get upset with me if I decide to kiss another man. Human beings are not meant to be paired for life,like lobsters.
Long-Term Judgments – Accurate overall – did not overestimate degree to which females were interested in sexual items
Short-Term Judgments – 5 of 10 items had one or more sexual ads – IN EACH CASE (5 of 5), males overestimated the degree to which females chose the sexually charged ad
Long-Term Judgments – 5 of 10 items had one or more sexual ads – IN EACH CASE (5 of 5), females overestimated the degree to which males chose the sexually charged ad
Short-Term Judgments – 4 of 10 items had one or more sexual ads – IN 3 of 4 cases, females overestimated the degree to which males chose the sexually charged ad
Evidence for a ‘Men are Always Pigs’ bias?
Not for Females: Neither accuracy nor commitment-skepticism-bias was associated with vocabulary scores.
Maybe for Males???
Accuracy in Long-Term Mating Judgments .06
Accuracy in Short-Term Mating Judgments .13
Overestimating Sexual Qualities (LT) .05
Overestimating Sexual Qualities (ST) .30*1
____________________________________________________N = 127 for all; *p < .05; 1significantly predictive of IQ after controlling for other predictors in standard regression.
(F(4, 123) = 3.21, p < .05; R2 = .10)
Males are more accurate overall (consistent with findings from Bromley & Camargo (in prep.); DeBacker, Braeckman, & Farinpour, in press)
Female superiority has been demonstrated in:
● Emotional intelligence (Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso, 1999)
● Social Intelligence (Connellana, Baron-Cohen, Wheelwright,
Batkia, Jag, & Ahluwaliab, 2000)
● Interpersonal Intelligence (Rammstedt, Thomas H. Rammsayer, 1999)
● Nonverbal abilities (Nowicki, 1994)
● Decoding in Communication (Noller, 1986)
A. Heterosexual men may have more motivation to be accurate given the notoriously discriminating nature of the objects of their desire.
B. Given the reputation of males in the mating game, women may be wisest to employ a simple “all he wants is sex” heuristic.
(Commitment Skepticism may pay in the long-run)
1. How g-loaded are facets of mating intelligence?
1A. are courtship-display components more g-loaded than mating mechanisms?
2. Is our model of mating intelligence factorially valid?
3. Are mating mechanisms more designed for accuracy or adaptive bias (Fletcher & Simpson, 2000)?
4. Are the elements of mating intelligence predictive of mating success (Camargo, in progress)?
5. Would the the cross-sex mind-reading abilities documented in this study transfer to effectiveness in choosing the correct bachelor or bachelorette on The Dating Game?
Will the Mating Intelligence construct live up to its introduction in this presentation as the best thing since sliced bread?
We’ll have to wait and see!
Thanks to my wonderful research assistants from SUNY New Paltz:
Eli Boyle, Mike Camargo, Michelle Coombs, Elisabeth Dewispelaere, Jason Diffenderfer, Warren Greig, Kelly Fairweather, Rachel Fetters, Kimona Hanson, Krystle Hearns, John Johnson, Jill Lavallee, Justin Lee, Heather Mangione, Nilerisha Mollette, Regina Musicaro, Uzoma Ugonabo, Erica White.
Alice Andrews, David Buss, Kathy Geher, Scott Barry Kaufman, Jack Mayer, Geoffrey Miller, Kaja Perina – and all the contributors to our book(coming soon to a bookshelf near you!).
For more information on my research, see: glenngeher.com
... and thanks for listening!