Thursday, September 30, 2010

Work and the Profit Motive

 In the video link below Dan Pink illustrates recent studies that change our perception on the profit motive. An increase in reward will improve performance on mechanical related tasks, but in tasks that require rudimentary cognitive skill a higher reward would lead to poorer performance. This study was repeated across cultures and always demonstrated the same result, baffling the traditional economic ideology of the profit motive.
  It was found that money is a good motivator for simple mechanical tasks. However, for improved performance in work that requires cognitive skill and creativity, studies show that people are more motivated by having autonomy, self direction, the ability to master skills, and a sense of purpose. Naturally this required them being paid a decent salary.
    I think that this shows that people in leadership positions should avoid micromanaging the employees who have tasks that require cognitive skills and creativity. I think this would help an organization which has a well defined purpose to be exceptionally successful.

Psychoactive Drugs- Smoking

Okay Second Post..

The reading that caught my attention most was about the psychoactive drugs. I have a lot of friends with diffewrent drug addictions and it is very interesting to me why people chooses to do these things knowing the harm it can cause to their bodies. I myself have a nicotine and caffeine addiction but I'm working on quitting smoking.

Smoking cigarettes delivers nicotine to the brain which is the major psychoactive drug found in them. For those of you who do not know, smoke from cigarettes also contains ammonia, arsenic, and cyanide. The smoke also gives off carbon monoxide which is a colorless and odorless gas that is highly poisonous and prevents the blood from utilizing oxegyn.

When a smoker first trys it, they react negatively but eventually get used to it and enjoy it. I myself coughed and hated the first time buit then I got sucked in to the world of smoking. It can be very hard to quit because it does make you feel good after you do it. It helps to relax you and get through a busy and stressful day. Unfortunately, when people try to quit they can have serious withdraw symptoms such asirratibility, restlessness, anxiety, depression, hostility, difficulty concentrating and hunger.

Here is a little video I found comparing heroin and nicotine. It involves things we are also learning in perception so I thought everyone might find it interesting.

What is Alcoholism? (College Health Guru)

Psychoactive DSrug

Emotions and Anger

Here is my first post .. it had been made as a comment by accident. I finally figured this thing out haha. The book says "A person's consciousness is often deluged with sensations like cold, hot, thirst, hunger, and pain. These sensations serve to motivate specific actions in order to alleviate their unpleasantness."

I think that this is true and instead of writing my own post I wasnted to add to this one. I also understnadi thqat is is unethical to test certain intense emotions and I too have witnessed anger in the home. My mother has alot of issues she is unwilling to get help for and so she takes things out on me. High school was when things starting getting worse. She is conctantly putting me down and saying mean things because she is unable to control me and how I think. I guess you could say her anger motivates her to behave in the way she does. Then you have my dad who grew up in a strict family setting and who just finished 30+ years in the F.B.I. and also went Afganistan on special business. He probably has P.T.S.D. and sometimes his anger makes him throw things and yell. My emotions miotivate me to leave the situations when the occur and retreat back to school. Also because of my family I'm more motivated then ever to prove them wrong when they doubt I'll finish.

Emotions help motivate us to survive. If we did not react to things emotionally. we would be just like the animals. We need to be carfeul however when we let our emotions be our motivation. We have to make sure that its influencing our decisions in a postive way other ways things can spiral out of control.


What motivates anyone to do drugs? Is it peer pressure? Is it natural human curiosity? Is it biological? Is it the need to fill an internal void or just a recreational escape from the pressures of our own typical lives? These reasons could be related to any person who has attempted drug or alcohol consumption. It seems to be human nature to always search for a type of pleasure or euphoria. Psychoactive drugs, such as cocaine, marijuana, alcohol, opiates, etc can provide that. A psychoactive drug is any chemical substance that alters a person’s mood and behavior as a result of the drug’s function of he brain (Deckers,78). A simple motivation such as the environment or people you are with can lead to a normal person trying psychoactive drugs out for recreational use. For example, being college students, how many parties have you been to where alcohol and drugs were being used? How many of you have used any drugs? The stress of moving out, moving on, new surroundings, and pressure to make something of yourself can really motivate someone to want to let loose and not think. For some it will only be an experiment, an impulse, or just plain curiosity. For others, it can be the beginning of an addiction. (Deckers,77-80)
Drugs like alcohol, cannabis, amphetamines, and cocaine can alter a person’s mood. It is a safe bet that if drugs started out making you feel bad, few people would use them. The truth is that each drug can have a different effect, whether it is a relaxed sleepy feeling of bliss or an enthusiastic burst of energy, it makes a person feel good. Most people experience such a “positive Feeling” when they consume drugs that it is hard to match that incredible high with anything else again. Addicts begin to “crave” the substance. They want that amazing feeling back. The only way to get that feeling again is to use again. The more and more someone uses the more of a tolerance they build for their drug of choice. When a person begins using on a regular basis they can build up a tolerance for whatever substance they are using. When a person becomes tolerant of alcohol or any other drug, this means that it they will need to consume more then their usual amount in order to get that same “good” feeling. Once that feeling is gone they usually go through withdraw symptoms such as anxiety, vomiting, depression, etc. These negative effects can become a motivation to find another fix of their drug of choice. They want to replace the sick, bad feelings with good feelings. (Deckers,77-82)
These good feelings come from what is known as “The Pleasure Center” of the Brain. When a drug in consumed different chemicals, neurons, and hormones are released throughout the brain which create that pleasurable feeling. That pleasurable feeling can become a weakness for those who have inherited the genetics of an addict. A person who has an addict in the family is more likely to be susceptible to becoming an addict. A person’s environment and the people that they surround themselves with are also a common cause addiction. If a person’s parents are consuming drugs in front of them with no consequences, then that person may not understand the risks they are taking when doing drugs. Finally, a person’s personality can be another motivation. An impulsive person or a person that may not have a tight grip on reality is more likely to try and become addicted to drugs. Some people can not see that their family or future is more important then their next high. (Deckers, 80-89)

Music is Everywhere

Music is everywhere. Everywhere people are, music follows. It is one thing that leaps from culture to culture, continent to continent, transcending any barrier that stands between people. Cultures everywhere have unique, indigenous music forms that celebrate the diversity of specific groups of people.

Why is this?

Music, because of its global influence, is considered a universal motivator. According to Brown (1991), music is a characteristic of the category "Aesthetics", a universal motivator. Once again, these universal motivators are facets of life that exist in and drive every culture throughout the world. Because of its universal status, music is just as integral to people's lives as is their sense of self or their emotions.

Our response to music is implicit. No parent ever has to teach their child to dance, feel a rhythm, hum a melody or clap their hands just as no parent has to teach their child to yell or scream if they are angry. From an evolutionary perspective, music's innateness may have developed out of necessity. Music may have uplifted tribes when food is scarce and morale is low. Music has, after all, been a part of human culture for at least 30,000 years. There are countless rituals amongst groups from all over the world that have spiritual celebrations centered around music. From ancient rituals to any party anywhere today, music is at the center. Being at the center of celebrations and parties for tens of thousands of years, it is not surprising that music also promotes group bonding and stimulates social activity. Even through the online social networking revolution of the past few years, music is still dominant. MySpace music accounts are extremely popular, Facebook pages of musicians have thousands of fans, and eight of the top-ten all-time most-viewed YouTube videos are music related. By the way, as of the time I posted this blog, the top six music-related videos on YouTube totaled to over 1.1 billion views. According to Darwin, musicians had a higher rate of being selected as a sexual partner as well, which is probably why so many people try to play guitar...

Studying infants seems to show that at least the appreciation, if not the understanding, for music comes early in life. Infants have been observed and studies have shown that infants are calmer when mothers sing to their children, rather than speak to them. Infants do indeed show preference for types of music, preferring harmony over dissonance. One study also showed that by the end of their first year, infants were able not only to memorize simple melodies, but were able to recognize them when they were played in a different key (Trehub 2001).

It is clear that music is not just a fad, a phase, or annoying noise. Through studying infants, psychologists have learned that infants, even before two months of age, have musical preference. From that point on, music is integral in every culture and everyone is exposed to music (often) in their lives. I feel that even though research shows music to be innate, which I take to mean that I would be able to understand music to a certain degree no matter what, I don't believe this to be the most important reason that people love music so much. Through music, a skilled musician is able to express any emotion through their instrument. Unlike a painting or a sculpture, which is permanent when completed, pieces of music are never played just once and never altered. Music can be recorded, but to the artist who performed the piece, every note is an expression of the soul. I play several instruments, and I know this to be the case for me: to become "one" with an instrument and explain any story through sound and not words is an incredible feeling, and being able to play with others or in front of others enhances the experience many times. Music is a pure form of expression, which is why it is universally celebrated.
I find the topic on mate selection very interesting. I took a class on the psychology of evolution and many of things we learned about in this class are relevant to that class. What I find interesting is WHY we actually select the mates we do. Good genes are related to good looks and what people call physically attractive. However, the reason we know how to look for these things is because our ancient ancestors had to discover who was the best mate. In order to do this, women looked for a large, strong man because they had the proper genes to survive. They were best equipped for hunting and protecting, and ultimately would be the best possible chance to continue passing on the genes through generations. Men searched for women with good looks and body structure which were examples of healthy fertility. Its funny that people still look for people with these same traits. We don't realize why we actually find these types of people attractive, its just natural instinct.
The media also promotes this line of thinking. People are taught that a skinny figure and good looks are the desirable traits in a mate. People conform to what the media presents to them. They apply this to their lives as well as their mating rituals. They look for the traits that the media tells them are positive and better than others and try to find it in their future mate. People do not realize that the mate selection is not always a natural occurrence but, in fact, influenced by outside factors such as the media.
Factors of mate selection are also influenced in ways that don't revolve around physical attraction. In this generation factors such as parental influence change the types of people that their offspring are attracted to. If the parents have a healthy relationship and the child likes the way their parents act, then they may be more inclined to like someone who reminds them of their parents. In contrast if the parents don't have a healthy relationship the child may look for a mate opposite of their parents so that they don't grow up to be like them. These things may also happen subconsciously. A person might not know why they are choosing that particular mate, but it may have something to do with their past. These are just some interesting points to think about when your considering your next boyfriend or girlfriend.

If you have ever watched the Jersey Shore, you can notice that their way of living is somewhat pleasurable. The jersey shore cast holds employment at a ice cream shop, on this season, that does not require a great deal of effort, in addition, they go to clubs to have fun, the guys go to gym and do their laundry, the girls go get their nails done, they all get together for a Sunday meal and so on. Most of what it's captured on film is more or less the cast having a good time, (of course, criticism aside). The behaviors exhibited by the cast are mostly pleasurable. Let's face it we would all like to live lid that even for a day. Well, maybe not exactly like Jersey Shore. But you can the gist, living a pleasurable life is much better than living with painful events.

The main motivator for such behaviors such as going to the gym, going to the nail salon is to receive self-satisfaction. We can identify with one of these behaviors as being pleasure-seeking. You visit the gym, you get in shape, you feel good, and you feel a sense of satisfaction. Or you go to the nail salon, you get a manicure and pedicure, you look nice, and you feel content with yourself. Bentham's principle and Freud can agree that as humans, seek out and have a high amount pleasure and we all want to avoid pain. These kinds of actions can also be reinforcing to the individual and eventually even be rewarding. Once it becomes pleasurable and reinforcing the motive to how we behave becomes apparent.

Why do humans seek pleasure? They have always done it and always will. It is part of our evolution. Herbert Spencer discussed how pleasure is our means of survival, and with were to eliminate the pleasurable events in our lives we will not survive. So, next time, before you start judging the cast members of the Jersey Shore think behind the motivation for their behaviors, they simply do it because it gives them pleasure. We have all had pleasurable events in our lives where we can't explain why we behave that way. The motive is to seek pleasure, or life would not be the same and just plain painful.

Sex and Intimacy- Sexual Attraction

In this video clip I was interested in seeing what attracted males and females to the opposite sex. As mentioned, it seems as if women take more into consideration opposed to males. Maybe I'm biased because I am a woman, but I believe that males seem do take physical attractiveness more serious than women. Honestly, when I first meet somebody I do take their looks into consideration. However, physical only plays a small role in what I look for in a man. I would never date someone completely unattractive, but I am so much more of a personality person.
My friends and family have frequently told me in the past "you can do so much better" and this goes along with dating someone who has the same number as you. The video we watched this week talks about 10's dating 10's and so on. Sometimes, I don't really find that to be true. I've seen many of my friends and family date people who I really do not find to be equal with them on a number scale. But then again, they could be more into different qualities, such as myself. I would be more concerned about dating someone who has an awesome personality and can make me laugh, or support me. I know of many people in my life who have dated someone SOLELY for looks and it always ends badly.
In the video I posted a woman said she can tell in the first 5 minutes whether it'd work out or not. I do have to agree with that. My last boyfriend I knew right away that we would be together as soon as I met him. Although it didn't work out for us, I knew he was someone that was my type just because of his personality and the way he came off to me right when we met. After going over that number scale of importance in a mate, it really made me think of what I tend to look for in a mate. I found looks to be not as important as many of the other qualities and it really makes me see what I find important and attractive when it comes down to a longterm relationship.

hey jealousy

After reading numerous posts on my original topic of choice which was mate value and mate selection, I got to thinking about what more I could add to what has already been said. Most of my peers have already covered what we look for in a mate. Physical attractiveness, personality traits, that magical good looking, hard working smart gene. All these things are what attracts us to a person sure, but what actually keeps us with that person? Is it lust, is it love? Do we genuinely love people for who they are and what they do for us. Do we stay as physically attracted to that same person we drooled over the first time we saw them? I can't speak for the whole world of course but i'm gonna go out on a limb and say no we don't. Attraction fades with time. We grow bored and sick of each other. Monotony sets and you get to know the person entirely too well and then boom, you hate them. This may be a tad extreme but i'm sure you all get the gist of what i'm saying. So the question is over time, what is it that keeps us with these people when every time you see another suitor you wish you were able to go chase after them like a wild animal? My vote goes to that "green eyed monster" called jealousy. Even if you yourself may be happier with another person, the thought of seeing them with anyone but yourself would drive you crazy. The level of how crazy it would drive you probably differs between men and women. The book states that men are more worried about sexual infidelity while women are more worried about emotional infidelity. So in other words gals would be more torn up over seeing their man taking another woman out to dinner, while men would be rather livid over seeing his ex get railed by some other dude. Jealousy also plays a big part in the awful sport of mate poaching. People see someone they are attracted to and then they see someone else enjoying their company. How dare they find them first they're mine?! Then the hunt is on, and once the prey of choice is acquired, then what? Stolen candy never tastes as sweet. As stated in our text, "Animals, like humans, appear possessive and guard their mates closely as if they are motivated by jealous." I believe we are all motivated by jealous when it comes to our mate. There aren't many things more sacred in this world than the one you love, and if you don't watch out someone will absolutely tranquilize your girl with a blow dart like an elephant and harvest all that sweet ivory from her tusks. However, nothing in excess is good. Jealous can lead to delusion and many awful awful things. Overprotection of your mate could very well be what pulls you apart. So be wary of the sharks in the surrounding water, but make sure not to force your sweetheart to abandon ship.

Universal Standard of Beauty

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"

The topic in class that sparked my attention was when the topic of Universal Motives were discussed. One of the categories was Aesthetics, "standards of beauty" and I wanted to expand more on the topic and discuss society's standard of beauty.

The mass media is the number one influence on our socialization and body image. People are buying products to look and be considered beautiful or handsome. The advertising industry thrives on images of youthfulness and thinness and this substantially affects the standards of beauty for the American culture. Having clear skin, and a hairless body is also considered beautiful for a woman. Many females depicted on television or in fashion magazines cannot be compared to the average American woman. The primary reason being is that most of the images portrayed are fixed up or photo-shopped to exude more beauty that is often unnatural.

The mass media has a profound effect on socialization processes. It displays these feminine beauty ideals and causes many women to have low-self esteem and a negative body image. Women especially are learning from the media and their environment that this is what characterizes beauty and they strive to fulfill these ideals of beauty, even taking drastic measures to do so. Women are less satisfied with their body image, and believe they are unattractive because they are constantly comparing themselves to unrealistic images. Another effect that this has on women is that they develop unhealthy eating habits or eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia, because they wish to fulfill society's expectations of beauty. Many women are seeking to obtain a body image that is just unattainable and unhealthy. The motive for many women is to appear physically and sexually attractive to men.

Although over the decades this has changed, young, thin, white women used to be considered the beauty ideal in Western culture. Even in Disney Movies such as "Snow White" and "Cinderella", these ideals were enforced. The most popular doll was "Barbie", who was a white, thin, and blonde-hair blue-eyed woman. The contour and body shape of Barbie is a thin waist hour glass frame, with big breasts. From a young age this is what was instilled in the minds of young girls. Their value was based on society's imposed physical standards of beauty. Their physical appearance was seen as the most important thing beyond anything else.

This is a quote from the book, "The Beauty Myth", by Naomi Wolf
"The quality called 'beauty' objectively and universally exists. Women must want to embody it and men must want to possess women who embody it. This embodiment is an imperative for women but not for men, which is necessary and natural because it is biological, sexual, and evolutionary. Strong men battle for beautiful women and beautiful women are more reproducibly successful, and since this system is based on natural selection it is inevitable and changeless".

I agree with Naomi Wolf, that men are striving to get that beautiful woman. In my opinion, when choosing a mate, men are looking for those attractive physical traits, believing that these women will have good health and have good attributes of fertility. It is an innate biological attraction.

Below is a clip about Gender, Sexualization, and the Unrealistic Standards of Beauty

Mate Value

I decided to do this weeks blog on mate value.  Mate value is the possession of characteristics that are desired by the opposite sex.  The higher your mate value is, the more appealing you are to the opposite sex.  The mate value consists of three components.  The three components are physical features, psychological characteristics, and a value system.  Physical features are the most noticeable in a person.  However, they fade over time and are ones to which the other person habituates (Deckers, 56).  The physchological characteristics take time to discover and are less likely to fade over time.  The mate value inventory was designed to match people up.  When interests and values are shared, it increases people's attraction to each other.  The mate value inventory is made up of eighteen traits.  The traits are then rated on a scale from -3 to +3.  Once a person gets into a relationship, they are going to want to guard it.  A person in a relationship needs to be aware of mate poaching.  "Mate poaching refers to the attempt to attract someone who is already in a romantic relationship in order to form either a short-term or long-term relationship with the pached individual" (Deckers, 61).  A survery indicated that nearly 60% of men and 40% of women have reported attempts at poaching.  "In addition, men are more likely than women to succumb to the temptations of short-term poaching" (Deckers, 61).  In class, we watched a YouTube video on mate value.  In the video, there were ten men and ten women.  Each person had a number between one and ten where they couldn't see it.  The number one was the least desired mate and ten was the most desired mate.  The men extended their hands to the women, and the women could either accept or deny their offer.  The goal was to get paired with the top mate, or closest to the top mate.  However, if the woman was too selective, she got whatever number was left.  This relates to matel value because people want the best of the best to mate with.  In the video, they were looking for certain traits just like on the mate value inventory.  I agree with the mate value inventory.  I agree with it because in a way, I use it when I am looking for a mate.  When I'm looking for a boyfriend, I am looking out for certain traits.  Some of the traits I look for are located on the mate value inventory.  Also, I feel that it is important that your mate and you agree on similar things.  One thing in particular is the desire to have children.  I know that I definately one day would like to have children.  In order for me to even consider dating a guy, I would need to know that they would want children one day to.  This is why I agree with the mate value inventory. 

Is Bigger Always Better?

According to some Evolutionary Psychologists it is and there are some interesting reasons as to why the human phallus has evolved into what it looks like today. The central reason being to ensure reproductive success through the displacement of possible foreign sperm lying in the vaginal tract of the female they have chosen to copulate with. Upon examining the design of the human penis Dr. Gordon Gallup and Rebecca Burch hypothesized that “A longer penis would not only have been an advantage for leaving semen in a less accessible part of the vagina, but by filling and expanding the vagina it also would aid and abet the displacement of semen left by other males as a means of maximising the likelihood of paternity.” So how did natural selection equip men to solve the adaptive problem of other men impregnating their sexual partners? The answer, according to Gallup, is their penises were sculpted in such a way that the organ would effectively displace the semen of competitors from their partner’s vagina, a well-synchronised effect facilitated by the “upsuck” of thrusting during intercourse. Specifically, the coronal ridge offers a special removal service by expunging foreign sperm. The effect of thrusting would be to draw other men’s sperm away from the cervix and back around the gland, thus “scooping out” the semen deposited by the sexual rival.

To prove his “semen displacement hypothesis” Gallup and a team of his students selected several sets of prosthetic genitals from erotic novelty stores, including a realistic latex vagina which they tied off at one end to prevent leakage, and three artificial phalluses. The first latex phallus was 6.1 inches long and 1.3 inches in diameter with a coronal ridge extending approximately 0.20 inch from the shaft. The second phallus was the same length, but its coronal ridge extended only 0.12 inch from the shaft. Finally, the third phallus matched the other two in length, but lacked a coronal ridge entirely. In a controlled series of “displacement trials,” the vagina was injected with artificial semen made up of flour and water before the phalluses were inserted at varying depths (to simulate thrusting) and removed, whereupon the latex orifice was examined to determine how much semen had been displaced from it. As predicted, the two phalluses with the coronal ridges displaced significantly more semen from the vagina (each removed 91%) then the headless control who only removed (35.3%). Additionally, the further that the phalluses were inserted – that is to say, the deeper the thrust – the more semen was displaced. When the phallus with the more impressive coronal ridge was inserted three fourths of the way into the vagina, however, it only removed a third of the semen, compared to removing nearly all semen when inserted completely (Gallup, 2003).

In the second part of the study which was published in Evolution & Behaviour, Gallup administered a series of survey questions to college-age students about their sexual history. These questions were meant to determine whether sexual behaviours could be predicted based on the men’s suspicion of infidelity in their partners. In the first of these questionnaires, both men and women reported that, in the wake of allegations of female cheating, men thrust deeper and faster. Results from a second questionnaire revealed that, upon first being sexually reunited after time apart, couples engaged in more vigorous sex – namely compared to baseline sexual activity where couples see each other more regularly which allows one to infer that by using their phalluses proficiently as “semen displacement devices,” men are subconsciously combating the possibility that their partners have had sex with another man in their absence (Gallup, 2003). It should be noted that the findings from this particular study did not unequivocally prove the semen displacement hypothesis, but it certainly confirmed its principal points while also supporting the evolutionary psychological concepts introduced in chapter three of our text in regards to men and the worry they feel about sexual infidelity (pg. 62), for if the female was sexually unfaithful, then the male is in doubt about his paternity of any children that might come from the union because they in fact may not be carrying his genes at all, but those of another (Deckers, 2010)

Look-alikes In Love

Its crazy when we look at how people are attracted to others. We can see how people choose their mates based on their looks, which probably has some deep down unconscious decision making reasoning, like we pick people who look attractive so it spurs reproduction. I mean come on its true. Makes sense, but its also funny watching people pair up because we often see people together who look like brother and sister. Maybe its because these people are equally attractive so they can pair up but its strange, it makes me wonder if there is a sibling affect while picking a mate.

Its kind of weird if you think about it, people choose mates that slightly look like themselves? Maybe it means that people are really self absorbed and just want a mate who looks just like they do. I have to admit that sometimes its shocking to see two people together, 1 who is really good looking and another that is just average, or below average. Its always weird. So what is it that makes us pair up? Is it because we think that we can do no better then ourselves? And what about those people who are below average who get the really good looking girl or guy? When we see them we always question how they got together. I suppose its more then just matching up based on looks in their case. But the rest of us will naturally pair up with someone who looks a lot like us? Or maybe its because most people don't shoot for the stars and they are willing to settle for what they can get, and that is someone who looks just like us.

Difficulties in defining 'Universal' Motives

Universal Motives

All human begins share common motives such as sex, love, belonging, and the ability to acquire food. But as some motives stem to be universal, others may not be shared motivational traits. An example of this would be an education, because not everyone desires a college diploma. Also having money is questionable, but money allows the human to acquire universally desired materials such as food and shelter. It’s obvious that this differs from culture to culture, so determining “universal motives” must be generalized by all mankind desires. Here you may comment if money is a universal motive?

The Amish Mennonite is a traditional sub-group in Pennsylvania. The Amish are known for simple living, plain dress, and don’t value evolved technology such as electricity. Also children graduate school in the 8th grade to begin farm working for family food.

Our DNA make-up and our presented environment play major roles towards our source of motivation. All human’s have a drive to 1.) Reproduce, 2.) Maintain Health (live longer), and 3.) Fear (snakes, spiders, heights, est.). Human’s will always value survival, which can be easily understood through Freud’s fundamental physiologic response theory “ fight or flight”. Do you value Amish living? Do you think Amish children will fight for their traditional ways of living, or will they fly away into the modern world?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Selecting a Mate

  The selection processes between mates is actually interesting.  According to our notes, one sex selects an individual from the other sex for mating based on some trait of the latter.  This is called "Sexual Selection."  One of the main characteristics that is of great value is attractiveness (surprise, surprise).  Those with higher physical attractiveness are better at attracting mates and have more sexual experiences usually.  You also look for mate value when searching for a partner.  Mate Value is a persons characteristics that make him or her desirable to another person as their partner.  It seems to me that when selecting a mate, it is not something that may be "magical," but somewhat of an expression of an individual's need or want in life. Many individuals choose their partners based on previous life experiences, relationships and other situations that have happened in their lives.  I have heard many times that people choose partners that are similar to their own parents. 

  We also learned about Gene Hypothesis.  Gene Hypothesis is "beauty signals that the person has good genes for intelligence, good immune system, healthy babies, and good parenting."  This is one feature that the female mate seeks in the male mate. This is a big deal for many women, actually.  
*HIGH vs. LOW Mate Value: 
  • People select partners with high mate value OR
  • People do not select partners with low mate value

    A man's "value" might be mainly determined by his status and prestige.  His ambition, finances, intelligence and sense of humor are also considered.  Some researchers believe that males who have higher mate values have sex earlier and with more people and have more promiscuous relationships altogether.  For men, younger and more attractive women are most desirable not only because they are physically attractive, but also because they are more fertile.  Overall, men typically place more value on a woman's good looks in a long term mate than women do because female mate value is more focused on the physiological aspect of the male mate. 

    Overall, we can assume that compared to women, men place more importance on physical attractiveness and women place more importance than men do on the "earning capacity" of a potential mate.  Keep in mind that
    research in mating selection shows that one's culture has a significant influence on the way people select mates. Research has also explored what values (traditional or contemporary) a person may be focusing on during the mating selection process.


Bizarre Foods - Fried Tarantulas


About a year or two ago I was catching up with a friend who I have not talked to in a few months. We were talking about school, life, where we see ourselves going in a few years, when she sudden said she had something to tell me. I was baffled to wonder what it could be, right off the bat I xed the thought she was pregnant because she wasn’t dating anyone. She than came to tell me she had met someone online. I thought ONLINE really he could be a murder, a pedophile, and crazy person, she for one is not someone who would do such a thing. Fast-forward to the present she is now engaged to this man she met online and are planning a summer wedding.

On Tuesday, when we were talking about selecting a mate I started to wonder about all the sites online that help you find the “perfect mate." Do these sites really work and if so how? One of the most popular sites I feel out there is eHarmony, so I began searching how they work.

When you go on the site you must register to become a member, after that you will be giving a survey with over a hundred questions that use up to 29 different dimensions to match you. Once that is all complete you can upload your picture and if you have not been rejected you can search through the matches they have given you. Now I am sure you may have been surprised when I just said you can proceed with the searching if you have not been rejected, right? Well many users after all the questions are complete, get a message telling them that there are no matches for them and are rejected from the site. That was a little surprising to me, but after I watched the video below, I realized those questions were all science based. Eharmony is rejecting people because they have not found a compatible person for them and do not want to waste anymore of the members time.

Cultural Food Neophobia

What is the most outrageous thing you have ever eaten? In High School, I had a friend who was from Ghana, Africa, and she once made me try African soda. African soda consists mostly of molasses and was thick and overly sweet. I thought it was so disgusting, that I could only tolerate one sip!

Culture has a huge influence on what food choices one makes. Generally, one will stick to those foods for life. Many people are reluctant to try foods indigenous to other cultures because they fear how the food will make them feel as well as what other cultures are actually eating. In Cambodia, a popular snack is fried Tarantulas. According to the text book, children reported fearing spiders the most, but in Cambodia, children love to eat them and consider them a delicacy.

On the show "Bizarre Foods" on Travel Channel, the host Andrew Zimmern, does not exhibit a fear of trying different cultural foods. This man will eat anything that would make many average Americans repulsed at. My boyfriend is a fan of this show, but honestly, I cannot watch it because it literally makes my stomach turn! According to Pliner and Hobden, the host of "Bizarre Foods" would of scored in the lower 15% of their food Neophobic Scale. In turn, he would be considered a Neophilic, or a person more willing to try different foods.

Mate Value and Selection

The lecture that we discussed in class was truly inspiring. The way we select our mates in a rather complex way, can show that it can be innate. A reason for this is that we wish to procreate with one who will provide the best genes for future offspring. This does not necessarily make sense, as we are out in the dating world, however, many science experiments have been showing that the way we choose our mates can go deeper. Voice, physical attractiveness, along with personal attributes, such as being financially stable and loyal, are some out of the many reasons on how we choose a partner. What makes this an innate instinct is that various experiments have shown that some physical and emotional characteristics can cause us to choose a particular selection.
The voice, for example, has a lot to do with whom we mate with. In the video shown in class, males rated females with higher pitched voices to be more attractive than others with lower pitched voices. The catch behind it was that the voices they rated more attractive than others were actually from the same female, however, at different stages of her menstrual cycle. When the female was at her more fertile point in the cycle, her voice pitch was higher, ultimately creating more attractiveness. This is one example of how we subconsciously choose mates for the matter of procreation.
Another interesting scenario in which we mate, is through smell. In a video that I found, an experiment was conducted to show that the smell of a woman can create more attractiveness. The thought behind this concept was that finding a mate with genes that do not match the other mate creates a healthier offspring. With this information, a woman would smell more attractive, should her genes and a partner's genes not match, or match very slightly. A smell that would not be attractive, the pairs genes would have a higher matching rate. In the experiment, six women wore a tee shirt for two nights in a row. They then placed the shirt in a sealed plastic bad and put into a freezer. Once ready, the tee shirts were placed into jars, labeled A through F. Both the man doing the smelling and all six women were tested for their matching of genes. The man sniffed all six jars and rated their attractiveness of smell. The jars in which he did not find to have an attractive aroma, were from women that his genes primarily matched with (which ultimately is not beneficial for healthy offspring). The jars that he did enjoy the scent from, were shown to be from woman whom did not match his genes (which is beneficial for healthy babies). Mate selection is extremely complex and fascinating to know how we primarily choose a partner!

The video of the scent experiment is below. It is subtitled in another language, but is entertaining, nonetheless.