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  • Author or Editor: Michaela Wänke x
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The basic tenet of the present article is that even though the scientific value of macro-biological (evolutionary or inter-cultural) approaches to social cognition may be questioned, evolutionary analyses may serve the creative function of a theory heuristic that can be used instrumentally to further theoretical explanations and to derive new testable implications. This point is illustrated with reference to meta-cognitive myopia, the challenging phenomenon that judgments and decisions are sensitive to the information given in a stimulus sample, but insensitive to the constraints and biases imposed on the genesis of that information. Both anecdotal and experimental evidence for meta-cognitive myopia points to serious shortcomings, but an evolutionary analysis nevertheless reveals that seemingly short-sighted reliance on the sample given may be quite an adaptive strategy. Indeed, some empirical evidence can be found to support some implications derived from the evolutionary interpretation of meta-cognitive myopia.

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The authors argue that, based on a biosocial model proposed by Wood and Eagly (2002), sex differences in reactions to sexual versus emotional infidelity should be mediated via gender-role related traits, whereas based on the assumption of jealousy as a specific innate module (JSIM; Buss et al. 1992), such mediation would not be predicted. In a survey study, 646 British adults reported whether sexual or emotional infidelity of an intimate partner would distress them more, and completed masculinity (M) and femininity (F) scales. Replicating previous work, females reported greater distress than males at emotional (vs. sexual) infidelity. Importantly, this sex difference was partially mediated by both M and F, which supports the biosocial model. However, biological sex remained a significant predictor even after M and F had been controlled for, suggesting that JSIM may explain part of the variance in the observed sex difference.

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