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An Analysis of Group Context Effects on Perceptions of Characteristics Relevant to Mate Choice

  • Research on the perception of faces proposes a significant influence of social context on trait judgements. For instance, the “cheerleader effect” suggests an increase in the attractiveness of an individual based on the presence of additional faces. Further extensions to other trait characteristics have resulted inter alia in the awareness of the “banker effect”, which indicates that individuals in a group setting as opposed to in isolation are perceived to earn a higher salary. In light of recent findings in evolutionary psychology respective mate preferences, it is of interest to investigate potential nodes to social context effects. In addition to the replication of the cheerleader and banker effect, our study aimed to examine the effects of group context for characteristics relevant to mate choice. Besides the significance for attractiveness and salary, we were able to observe statistical significance for health and intelligence on both a subject and stimulus basis in a within-subjects design. However, we were not able to find significant differences in the isolated and group ratings for vanity, emotional stability, pleasing disposition, and unreliability. Furthermore, the evolutionary significance and the results of our study prompted us to address commonalities between the effects of social context on cognition and the social brain hypothesis and to reflect on possible underlying mechanisms and consequences.

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Author:Romy Eisenbichler
Advisor:Kai-Markus Müller
Document Type:Bachelor Thesis
Year of Completion:2021
Granting Institution:Hochschule Furtwangen
Release Date:2021/03/02
Tag:Mate preferences; Trait characteristics
Degree Program:IBM - International Business Management
Functional area:Andere/Other
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt