Being In Love = More Faked Orgasms

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Eric Barker  -  
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This paper models lovemaking as a signaling game. In the act of love-making, a man and a woman send each other possibly deceptive signals about their true state of ecstasy. Each has a prior belief about the other’s state of ecstasy. These prior beliefs are associated with the other’s sexual response capacity, which varies in different ways for men and women over the life-cycle. The model predicts that love, formally defined as a mixture of altruism and possessiveness, increases the probability of faking ecstasy, but more so for women than for men. In addition, the model predicts that age has a greater effect on the probability of faking if the partners are in love than if they are not. These predictions are tested with data from the 2000 Orgasm Survey. Besides supporting many of the predictions, the data also reveal a positive relationship between education and the tendency to fake.

Source: Mialon, Hugo M., The Economics of Faking Ecstasy (October 25, 2010).

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Does daddy love you more if you look like him?

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Eric Barker  -  
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Yes, he does:

Abstract: Human fathers face paternity uncertainty and are expected to use cues of relatedness to adjust their investment. So far, the main cue hypothesised to account for paternity assessment is facial phenotypic resemblance between a father and his child. However, previous studies showing a discriminative paternal investment either relied on fathers’ perceptions of resemblance (which differs from actual resemblance, as perceived resemblance could be socially biased), or manipulated facial resemblance. In this study, we investigate in a real-life situation, whether (1) the perception of child facial resemblance and (2) the likelihood of parental investment were predicted by actual facial resemblance to self, for both parents. The actual facial resemblance of 79 French children was quantified by testing external judges. Data on ascription of resemblance and parental investment were collected in private for each parent. First, ascription of facial resemblance was found to be consistent between the two parents and to match actual resemblance to the father. Second, emotional closeness as reported by fathers, but not by mothers, was found to be predicted by actual facial resemblance to self. This suggests that paternity uncertainty has favored the use of facial phenotype matching in fathers.

Source: Are parents’ perceptions of offspring facial resemblance consistent with actual resemblance? Effects on parental investment from Evolution & Human Behavior by Alexandra Alvergne, Charlotte Faurie, Michel Raymond


Does darkness increase dishonesty?:

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Eric Barker  -  
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Yes, it does:

via boston.com

In several experiments, researchers found that light levels influence selfish behavior. People who were placed in a dimly lit room were significantly more likely to cheat than people placed in a well-lit room. Likewise, people who were asked to wear sunglasses were less generous in a sharing game than people who were asked to wear clear glasses. This pattern appears to be the result of an increased sense of anonymity in lower light levels, even though light levels did not confer any actual increase in anonymity.

Zhong, C. et al., “A Good Lamp is the Best Police: Darkness Increases Dishonesty and Self-Interested Behavior,” Psychological Science (forthcoming).

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How do our parents affect what we look for in a mate?

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Eric Barker  -  
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Seems our parents’ age has effects on what we’re attracted to.

via ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Mate preferences are shaped by infant experience of parental characteristics in a wide variety of species. Similar processes in humans may lead to physical similarity between parents and mates, yet this possibility has received little attention. The age of parents is one salient physical characteristic that offspring may attend to. The current study used computer-graphic faces to examine how preferences for age in faces were influenced by parental age. We found that women born to ‘old’ parents (over 30) were less impressed by youth, and more attracted to age cues in male faces than women with ‘young’ parents (under 30). For men, preferences for female faces were influenced by their mother’s age and not their father’s age, but only for long-term relationships. These data indicate that judgements of facial attractiveness in humans reflect the learning of parental characteristics.


How much does a firm handshake matter during a job interview?

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Eric Barker  -  
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The authors examined how an applicant’s handshake influences hiring recommendations formed during the employment interview. A sample of 98 undergraduate students provided personality measures and participated in mock interviews during which the students received ratings of employment suitability. Five trained raters independently evaluated the quality of the handshake for each participant. Quality of handshake was related to interviewer hiring recommendations. Path analysis supported the handshake as mediating the effect of applicant extraversion on interviewer hiring recommendations, even after controlling for differences in candidate physical appearance and dress. Although women received lower ratings for the handshake, they did not on average receive lower assessments of employment suitability. Exploratory analysis suggested that the relationship between a firm handshake and interview ratings may be stronger for women than for men.
Source: Exploring the handshake in employment interviews. from Journal of Applied Psychology – Vol 94, Iss 6

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