• Friends, love, & tinder: an investigation of the effect of auditory social stimulation on sexual and romantic attraction toward potential mates

      Holler, Richard H (2017-07)
      Humans are social apes that adapted to social networks that were no larger than approximately 150 individuals (Dunbar, 1993). Today, the computer and internet provide humans the means to communicate with virtually anyone across the planet. To explore if using online social venues (e.g., tinder) versus physically attending social venues, such as a popular restaurant, facilitate sexual and romantic attraction toward others, participants were exposed to an auditory stimulus while evaluating 10 images of attractive target mates on 3 dependent measures: interest to have sex with target mates (sex-interest), interest to date target mates (date-interest), and sexual attractiveness of target mates. Of the 3 auditory stimuli--social stimulation (ambient sounds of a restaurant), controlled stimulation (sounds of flowing water), and no stimulation (silence)--sounds of flowing water, compared to silence, produced significantly higher date-interest ratings, t(60) = 2.00, p = .05, d = .51 and, marginally, significantly higher sex-interest ratings, t(57) = 2.00, p = .051, d = .52. Average spent hours per day using a computer significantly predicted date-interest and sex-interest among women and men, respectively. Additionally, the Asexual Identification Scale (AIS; Yule, Brotto, & Gorzalka, 2015) was applied to plot participants along the asexual spectrum. AIS scores significantly predicted (1) sex-interest, but only among men, and (2) date-interest, but only among women.
    • Partner insurance : women may have backup romantic partners as a mating strategy

      Wedberg, Nicole A. (2016-05)
      The science behind reproductive success is arguably the most prominent area of study within evolutionary psychology. Humans utilize a variety of mating strategies as a result of strategic pluralism (Gangestad & Simpson, 2000) which explains that both men and women have evolved with a plethora of conditional mating strategies that may be more or less beneficial depending on the context and circumstance. Recent research points to the existence of "back-burner relationships" (Dibble & Drouin, 2014) as a means to compare and consider potential alternatives in the way of romantic relationships. The current study refers to this phenomenon as partner insurance, and focuses on heterosexual women in committed relationships. A new scale called the Plan B Proclivity scale (PBP) was designed for the current study to measure the degree to which women consider their closest platonic male friend a romantic "backup plan." Results suggest that 20% of women report having some level of partner insurance, and various variables predict this including being young in age, having low relationship satisfaction with a current partner, having an unrestricted sociosexual orientation, and having a personality composed of relatively high narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy (i.e. the Dark Triad). Implications for these findings are discussed.