Mittwoch, 1. Oktober 2014

Gazing Behavior During Mixed-Sex Interactions: Sex and Attractiveness Effects

Gazing Behavior During Mixed-Sex Interactions: Sex and Attractiveness Effects
Ischa van Straaten, Rob W. Holland, Catrin Finkenauer, Tom Hollenstein, Rutger C. M. E. Engels (2010)


Abstract

We investigated to what extent the length of people’s gazes during conversations with opposite-sex persons is affected by the physical attractiveness of the partner. Single participants (N = 115) conversed for 5 min with confederates who were rated either as low or high on physical attractiveness. From a mating strategy perspective, we hypothesized that men’s increased dating desire towards highly attractive confederates would lead to longer periods of gazing, whereas women’s gazing would be less influenced by their dating desire towards highly attractive confederates. Results confirmed our hypothesis, with significantly increased gazing for men in the high attractiveness condition but no significant differences in women in the two attractiveness conditions. Contrary to past research findings, there was no significant sex difference in the size of the effect of physical attractiveness on dating desire. The results were discussed in terms of preference for physically attractive partners and communication strategies during courtship.

Dienstag, 30. September 2014

New Book: The Key to Music's Genetics - Why Music is Part of Being Human

The Key to Music's Genetics - Why Music is Part of Being Human
Christian Lehmann (Sept 2014 | English Version) >Amazon<


"Christian Lehmann brings his experience as a musicologist, singer and academic to this fascinating journey through the origins of music and its role in human development, culture and society. Few books on music are as rewarding as this one. Technical terms are clearly described in a way that appeals to both the musically well-informed and the musically inexperienced. Well-chosen examples and amusing asides help to make this a highly informative and extremely readable book – a must for anyone interested in the development of music and how integral it is to the human condition."

[German Version]

Freitag, 26. September 2014

Toward an Understanding of the Universality of Second Order Emotions

Toward an Understanding of the Universality of Second Order Emotions
Daniel M. T. Fessler (1999)


Abstract

For 32 months I studied a community in which much of life revolves around a pair of emotions. Two projects resulted. One, presented elsewhere, is an examination of how and why the given culture shapes and exploits these emotions. The second, presented below, is a consideration of the underlying capacities which make such cultural manipulation possible. Like the other authors in this volume, I hold  that the experience of emotion is the combined product of cultural and biological factors. However, rather than explore that synergy, in this essay I attempt to employ the former as a lens with which to view the latter. I begin with a description of a Malay emotion which appears synonymous with shame. However, closer inspection reveals that this emotion can be elicited by two fundamentally different sets of  conditions. Moreover, it seems that this duality is a pervasive feature of shame-like emotions around the  world. If one adopts the position that the capacity to experience a given type of emotion is the product of evolution, then the duality of shame-like emotions is puzzling, for an evolutionary perspective suggests that each emotion ought to address a discrete facet of life. In order to unravel this puzzle, I search for clues regarding the evolutionary history of shame-like emotions and their opposites, pride-like emotions. I explore the display behaviors and cognitive demands associated with each type of emotion, and conclude that two primitive emotions, which I call Protoshame and Protopride, initially developed in order to motivate the quest for social dominance. I speculate that these emotions served as the foundation for more complex emotions which arose when hominids developed the capacity for a model of mind, that is, the ability to understand that other individuals possess minds like one’s own. Such a capacity creates the possibility of a new class of emotions, the second order emotions, which are a reaction to the subjective experiences of other individuals. After examining such first order emotions as pity and envy, I suggest that Protoshame and Protopride were transformed into two second order emotions, Early Shame and Early Pride, which extended dominance-striving motivations into the new social world created by the advent of the model of mind. However, in addition to enhancing competition, the model of the mind also facilitates cooperation. The possibility of significant cooperation resulted in the development of newersions of Shame and Pride which served to motivate conformity rather than rivalry and, in so doing, set the stage for the blossoming of culture as humankind’s primary adaptation.