View More View Less
  • 1 Division of Psychology, The University of Northampton, Park Campus, Boughton Green Road, Northampton, NN2 7AL, UK
  • 2 Newcastle University, UK
  • 3 The Open University, UK
Restricted access

Abstract

Miller has argued that artworks act as fitness indicators in mate choice. However, there has been little empirical work to support or refute this assertion. This study aims to rectify this and in so doing to develop a novel method to consider whether observers of art are able to accurately assess the qualities of the artist and to use these judgements in mate choice. Fifty-one females rated six males on creativity, intelligence, attractiveness, dexterity and personality through assessment of experimental artworks they had produced. They then indicated which of the artists they would most like to go out on a date with and why. Results provided some support for the aesthetic fitness hypothesis and highlighted possible improvements to the method which has the potential to be an effective way in which to evaluate potential fitness indicators in mate choice.

  • L. Albright D. A. Kenny T. E. Malloy 1988 Consensus in personality judgements at zero acquaintance Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 55 387 395.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • A. Bain 2005 Constructing an artistic identity Work, Employment and Society 19 25 46.

  • M. C. Blackman D. C. Funder 1998 The effect of information on consensus and accuracy in personality judgement Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 34 164 181.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • G. Borgia 1995 Complex male display and female choice in the spotted bowerbird: Specialized functions for different bower decorations Animal Behavior 49 1291 1301.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • T. Buchanan J. L. Smith 1999 Using the internet for psychological research: Personality testing on the world wide web British Journal of Psychology 90 125 145.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • D. M. Buss M. Barnes 1986 Preferences in human mate selection Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 50 559 570.

  • H. T. Clegg 2006 Creativity: Psychological and evolutionary perspectives PhD Thesis Department of Psychology. The Open University Milton Keynes.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • E. Dissanayake 1992 Homo Aestheticus. Where Does Art Come From and Why? The Free Press New York.

  • G. J. O. Fletcher J. A. Simpson G. Thomas L. Giles 1999 Ideals in intimate relationships Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 76 72 89.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • D. C. Funder K. M. Dobroth 1987 Differences between traits: Properties associated with interjudge agreement Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 52 409 418.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Goldberg, L. R. (1999): International personality item pool: A scientific collaboratory for the development of advanced measures of personality and other individual difference. Online. Available: http://ipip.ori.org/ipip/.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • S. D. Gosling S. J. Ko T. Mannarelli M. E. Morris 2002 A room with a cue: Personality judgements based on offices and bedrooms Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 82 379 398.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • V. Griskevicius R. B. Cialdini D. T. Kenrick 2006 Peacocks, Picasso, and parental investment: The effects of romantic motives on creativity Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 91 63 76.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • M. Haselton G. F. Miller 2006 Women's fertility across the cycle increases the shortterm attractiveness of creative intelligence compared to wealth Human Nature 17 50 73.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • J. R. Hays D. L. Reas J. B. Shaw 2002 Concurrent validity of the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence and the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test among psychiatric inpatients Psychological Reports 90 355 359.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • R. W. Heinrichs G. C. Cupchik 1985 Individual differences as predictors of preferences in visual art Journal of Personality 53 502 515.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • B. C. Jones A. C. Little I. S. Penton-Voak B. P. Tiddeman D. M. Burt D. I. Perrett 2001 Facial symmetry and judgements of apparent health. Support for a “good genes” explanation of the attractiveness-symmetry relationship Evolution and Human Behavior 22 417 429.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • S. Kanazawa 2000 Scientific discoveries as cultural displays; A further test of Miller's courtship model Evolution and Human Behaviour 21 317 321.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • S. Kanazawa 2003 Why productivity fades with age: The crime-genius connection Journal of Research in Personality 37 257 272.

  • T. I. Lubart 1999 Creativity across cultures R. J. Sternberg Handbook of Creativity Cambridge University Press Cambridge 339 350.

  • J. R. Madden 2001 Sex, bowers and brains Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B: Biological Sciences 268 833 838.

  • J. R. Madden 2002 Bower decorations attract females but provoke other male spotted bowerbirds: Bower owners resolve this trade-off Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B: Biological Sciences 269 1347 1351.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • J. R. Madden A. Balmford 2004 Spotted bowerbirds Chlamydera Maculata do not prefer rare or costly bower decorations Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 55 589 595.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • F. W. Marlowe 2004 Mate preferences among Hadza hunter-gatherers Human Nature 15 365 376.

  • R. R. McCrae 1987 Creativity, divergent thinking and openness to experience Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 52 1258 1265.

  • R. R. McCrae P. T. Costa 1987 Validation of the five-factor model of personality across instruments and observers Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 52 81 90.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • R. R. McCrae P. T. Costa 1997 Conceptions and correlates of openness to experience R. Hogan J. Johnson S. Briggs Handbook of Personality Psychology Academic Press San Diego 825 847.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • G. F. Miller 1999 Sexual selection for cultural displays R. Dunbar C. Knight C. Power The Evolution of Culture Edinburgh University Press Edinburgh 71 91.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • G. F. Miller 2000 The Mating Mind. How Sexual Choice Shaped The Evolution of Human Nature William Heinemann London.

  • Miller, G. F. (2000b): Sexual selection for indicators of intelligence. In: Bock, G., Goode, J. and Webb, K. (eds): The Nature of Intelligence. John Wiley, Novartis Foundation Symposium 233, Pp. 260275.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • G. F. Miller 2001 Aesthetic fitness: How sexual selection shaped artistic virtuosity as a fitness indicator and aesthetic preferences as mate choice criteria Bulletin of Psychology and the Arts 2 20 25.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • D. Nettle H. Clegg 2006 Schizotypy, creativity and mating success in humans Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B: Biological Sciences 273 611 615.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • F. L. Oswald N. B. Schmitt H. Kim L. J. Ramsay M. A. Gillespie 2004 Developing a biodata measure and situational judgement inventory as predictors of college student performance Journal of Applied Psychology 89 187 207.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • J. J. Ryan C. A. Carruthers L. J. Miller G. T. Souheaver S. T. Gontkovsky M. D. Zehr 2003 Exploratory factor analysis of the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI) in adult standardisation and clinical samples Applied Neuropsychology 10 252 256.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • S. Sprecher P. C. Regan 2002 Liking some things (in some people) more than others: Partner preferences in romantic relationships and friendships Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 19 463 481.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • R. Thornhill S. W. Gangestad 2006 Facial sexual dimorphism, developmental stability and susceptibility to disease in men and women Evolution and Human Behavior 27 131 144.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • S. Vazire S. D. Gosling 2004 e-Perceptions: Personality impressions based on personal websites Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 87 123 132.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

No Evolutionist is an Island

A review of Kevin N. Laland and Gillian R. Brown (2011) Sense and Nonsense. Evolutionary perspectives of human behaviour Oxford: Oxford University Press. 270 pages, ISBN: 978-0-19-958696-7