PSYC 332 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Conscientiousness, Trait Theory, Thout

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20 Jul 2016
Evolution, Mate preferences, and My 8th Grade
Yearbook: 21:53
-New relationship, first valentines day- very fun, if you just had one that
ended, valentines day is torture, if you are not in a relationship, you may
have mostly negative attitude towards it.
Personality would have something to with how we approach task of finding
Questions of the day:
-How has evolution influenced the mating preferences and behaviour human
males and females?????????
-Is there evidence that differences in mating preferences of men and women
are universal?????????
-Have mating preferences changed since the 1970’s??????????
Leonard vs Kurt in competition for Penny.
The idea here is that for some extent, we are still influenced by evolutionary
forces that developed 15 thousand years ago and certain patterns of
behaviour that were important in surviving, finding a partner and
reproducing and making sure our offspring survived and past our genes on-
adaptive behaviours may still be acting upon us, even if we are not aware of
Evolutionary psychologists focus on how males/females may have different
evolutionary forces acting upon them, the way they may approach the task
of finding a partner can be very different.
Norms have changed dramatically about dating since the 1970s mating
preferences have changed since the 1970s.
-Clip from the big bang theory.
One of the most popular shows, 4 really smart educated guys in their early
20s, mid-20s, all scientists, and they are pretty funny but the premise of the
show is that they are not likely to do well in terms of finding dates, romantic
partners, they are pretty much hopeless in some ways.
The dynamic of the show, one is extroverted, one shy, one anxious, one is
highly neurotic.
Leonard is the most socially mature of the four, but he is shy, and he and
Sheldon, are living together but a new person moves in across the hall-
Leonard falls in love with Penny instantly.
Clip-Leonard and Sheldon invited to a costume party and Leonard wants to
talk to Penny but her previous boyfriend is there too.
Leonard does not have a chance in whooing Penny, looking for someone a
lot more like Kurt than Keonard, he has a theory that people have changed
in the information age and that dominance is not about physical size, but
about how well you can work on a computer or something, most likely will
not prove to be correct.
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Brings into fore, the issue of what are men and women looking for, are their
differences and does it relate to personality.
Example from 8th grade:
I went to grade school from kindergarten to grade 8.
50 kids in my class, so that there were 25 boys and girls, they did some
things in the year book, they would make like a list where they would
indicate who the most popular was, the most attractive, separately for the
boys and girls- interested in seeing whether you showed up on the list,
would not rank on who was the most socially awkward though- just positive
Two arrows- Darlene pekarik- most popular and attractive, all the boys who
were heterosexual thought they wished Darlene would talk to me.
The most popular boy was Jimmy Kelly.
They were dating each other, the only two coupled in the 8th grade.
Im down below there.
The yearbook indicated they were the most popular.
-I was voted the strongest, the best athlete, and the smartest.-I thought
that was a real trifecta there, but I would have traded all 3 of those just so
that the next thing didn’t happen.-Then there is something else supposed to
be funny…………. “Never , never occupations.”.
For everyone in the class, think of the opposite that you could do.
For me, it was a play boy.
I had never considered that as a future occupation, but the fact that I came
out as the guy least likely to be a play boy, that kind of hurt my feelings and
made me think, why the heck would they pick me up- I knew I was not the
most desirable guy.
My Options?????????
The guy who played james bond/playboy- I could understand I would not be
a james bond type, and I knew at the age 13-14, there was other ways of
attracting girls, meeting people like woody allan. At age 13-14, I was not
funny either, really a little confused as to what this is saying about me and
what I would have to change and what I would have to do.
Natural by age 13-14-15, to be thinking about what would make us
competitive relative to other guys/girls, in terms of attracting partners we
might be interested in.
Research by the leading evolutionary personality psychologist- David buss,
1988- “The evolution of human intra-sexual competition: The tactics of mate
Intra-sexual selection- competition between members of the same sex for
mating access to members of the opposite sex.
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Characteristics selected could be those that enable winning in direct combat,
such as size and strength,
Or noncombat traits, such as producing successful mate-attracting signals or
acquiring resources desired by the opposite sex.
The assumption in all the work- focusing on heterosexual relationships,
researchers in this area would argue that the things about males and
females will probably work the same way for homosexuals trying to attract a
The key term is intra-sexual selection- it has to do with the competition
between members of the same sex.
The competition for me as an 8th grader was with the 25 other boys, I may
have thought I was doing well in the competition- I was the best basketball
player, best grades, BUT- girls still picked him as least likely to be a play
boy- to some extent, I was doing badly in this competition.
From the male perspective, and from across species perspective,
characteristics selected by females could be those that would enable winning
in direct combat.- In many species, it might be a matter of who is the most
powerful, the toughest, someone like hurt would have a great advantage. In
my 8th grade class, I would have had a good chance, I was the strongest and
the most athletic.
In other species and very much in humans, there is non-physical/combat
traits.- Such as producing successful mate attracting signals or acquiring
resources desired by the opposite sex.
Evolutionary psychologists would point out that in many animal species it is
not direct combat but a dominant display, a battle doesn’t really have to
Images and Reality:
Most often, the essence of compeititon is not direct confrontation-
The essence of competition is not direct confrontation. It consists instead of
behaviours designed to acquire limited or better resources at the expense of
others who are attempting to acquire those resources. Competitors need not
ever meet to engage in intra-sexual competition.
In my 8th grade class, it is not going to be who could have a fight out in the
school yard, what are the girls looking for and can you indicate you have
those qualities/resources.
Similarly, for the girls, among the 25 girls, those who were heterosexual
would have been focusing on Jim Kelly- coolest, most attractive- what
qualities are best suited.
The 4 components of intra-sexual competition for humans:
-Skill at locating mates;
-Producing effective mate-attracting behaviours;
-Acquiring resources desired by the opposite sex.—clip.
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