Basic Instincts

Kevin Lewis

June 19, 2021

Intelligence can be detected but is not found attractive in videos and live interactions
Julie Driebe et al.
Evolution and Human Behavior, forthcoming


Self-reported mate preferences suggest intelligence is valued across cultures, consistent with the idea that human intelligence evolved as a sexually selected trait. The validity of self-reports has been questioned though, so it remains unclear whether objectively assessed intelligence is indeed attractive. In Study 1, 88 target men had their intelligence measured and based on short video clips were rated on intelligence, funniness, physical attractiveness and mate appeal by 179 women. In Study 2 (N = 763), participants took part in 2 to 5 speed-dating sessions in which their intelligence was measured and they rated each other's intelligence, funniness, and mate appeal. Measured intelligence did not predict increased mate appeal in either study, whereas perceived intelligence and funniness did. More intelligent people were perceived as more intelligent, but not as funnier. Results suggest that intelligence is not important for initial attraction, which raises doubts concerning the sexual selection theory of intelligence.

Implicit and Explicit Childhood Financial Socialization: Protective Factors for Marital Financial Disagreements
Ashley Larsen Gibby et al.
Journal of Family and Economic Issues, June 2021, Pages 225-236


Research to date has shown that childhood financial socialization is significantly associated with the financial attitudes and behaviors of children, youth, and adults. However, the extent to which childhood financial socialization is connected to marital outcomes remains largely unknown. Using data from 1,473 newly married couples who participated in a nationally representative study, we examined the relationship between childhood financial socialization and reported marital financial disagreements by utilizing actor-partner interdependence structural equation models (APIM SEM). Our results suggest that implicit (i.e. parental modeling) and explicit (i.e. direct conversations or experiential learning) financial socialization significantly and negatively relate to marital financial disagreements for both men and women. Further, having a spouse who was explicitly taught about finances is significantly and negatively associated with financial disagreements, independently of one's own explicit financial socialization. These results highlight the importance of considering marital outcomes in the financial socialization literature and suggest that childhood financial socialization is a protective factor for marital financial disagreements.

I saw him first: Competitive nonverbal flirting among women, the tactics used and their perceived effectiveness
Joel Wade, Maryanne Fisher & Elizabeth Clark
Personality and Individual Differences, forthcoming


Here we explored nonverbal actions women use to flirt competitively against each other for the purposes of accessing a mate. We also investigated the perceived effectiveness of these competitive flirting actions. Using act nomination, Study 1 (n = 91) yielded 11 actions (eye contact with the man, dancing in his line of sight, smiling at him, touching him, giggling at his jokes, butting in between the other woman and the man, showing distaste for her, brushing against him, hugging him, flirting with other men, waving to him) for competitive flirtation against other women. Actions that signal possession (e.g., tie-signs) were predicted to be perceived as the most effective. While other actions were included in Study 2 (n = 139), results showed the most effective actions were tie-signs: touching him, initiating eye contact, hugging him, giggling at his jokes, and butting in between him and the rival. These findings are discussed in terms of prior research.

Breast symmetry, but not size or volume, predicts salivary immunoglobulin-A (sIgA) in women
Ashley Locke & Steven Arnocky
Evolution and Human Behavior, forthcoming


Human breasts are larger and more enduring than reproductively necessary. It is thus unclear why this costly, yet conspicuous phenotype has been selected for, or what information they might convey about the underlying quality of the female. Following previous research on fluctuating asymmetry, we postulated that breast symmetry would predict a marker of mucosal immunity (salivary immunoglobulin-A; sIgA). Anthropometric breast measurements were provided by 97 young women. Controlling for Body Mass Index (BMI), breast size, and volume, results demonstrated that breast asymmetry predicted lower sIgA, whereas size and volume did not. Results support the hypothesis that symmetrical female breasts are a cue to underlying immunocompetence.

Financial Integration and Financial Conflict: Does Less Financial Integration Relate to Increased Financial Conflict Between Romantic Partners?
HanNa Lim & Preston Morgan
Journal of Family and Economic Issues, June 2021, Pages 273-281


This study examined the association between romantic partner's financial integration and financial conflict. Using the data from 2016 to 2017 wave of German Panel Analysis of Family Dynamics and Intimate Relationships (Pairfam), this study found that partners who were less financially integrated reported more financial conflicts. This study further explored how non-traditional aspects of couple relationship moderate the association between couple's financial integration and financial conflicts. Dual-earner partnership and reciprocity orientation moderated the association between having a separate bank account and the frequency of financial conflicts. However, younger birth cohort and cohabitation failed to moderate this association. These findings provide insights to researchers and practitioners that the meaning of pooling resources can be different across partners when they show non-traditional aspects toward relationships.


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