Evolutionary psychology and dating

In support of their embodied cognition hypothesis, Finkel and Eastwick show that, whether they are men or women, “rotators,” who approach their dates, have greater self-confidence than “sitters,” who are approached, and once they statistically control for self-confidence, the institutional arrangement (whether men or women rotate) ceases to have any effect on whether men or women were more selective.

Finkel and Eastwick’s finding in their experiment is truly stunning and potentially devastating for evolutionary psychology.

And talking about a soul mate makes matters worse—besides, do soul mates even exist?

This is not at all surprising, as it is what evolutionary psychology would predict and it is what we normally observe in real life (less selective, more aggressive men, and choosier and more coy women).

In sharp contrast, in the novel “women rotate, men sit” arrangement, women were just as aggressive and, as a result, less selective, as men were in their mate choice; they checked as many “yeses” for men as men did for women, and they experienced as much sexual attraction and romantic chemistry for the men as men did for women.

Darwin's work inspired later psychologists such as William James and Sigmund Freud but for most of the 20th century psychologists focused more on behaviorism and proximate explanations for human behavior. Jerome Barkow, Leda Cosmides and John Tooby popularized the term "evolutionary psychology" in their 1992 book The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and The Generation of Culture.

After his seminal work in developing theories of natural selection, Charles Darwin devoted much of his final years to the study of animal emotions and psychology.

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