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Could musical mastery affect how attractive a person is rated as a prospective partner?
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Evolutionary psychology explains and predicts human behaviour based on its adaptive value. Some apparently non-adaptive behaviours such as humans’ devotion to music can be explained by sexual selection of costly signals, since it takes time and effort to learn to play an instrument well. Here, participants rated pictures of persons of the opposite sex that were said to play a piece of music that was heard while watching each picture. The music performances were either of low, medium, or high level of skill, and a better performance was predicted to lead to higher ratings of partner attractiveness because it is more costly. No effect of the music was found, except that women rated men as less desirable for a long-term relationships when the skill level was high than when it was medium.

Abstract [sv]

Evolutionspsykologiska teorier förklarar och predicerar mänskligt beteende utifrån dess adaptiva värde. Vissa uppenbart icke-adaptiva beteenden, som människans hängivenhet till musik, kan förklaras som sexuell selektion av kostsamma signaler, eftersom det kräver tid och möda att lära sig bemästra ett instrument. Deltagare fick skatta bilder på personer av motsatt kön som påstods spela det musikstycke som hördes medan man tittade på varje bild. Musikutförandet var antingen av låg, medel, eller hög skicklighet, och ett bättre utförande förväntades ge högre skattningar av partnerattraktivitet eftersom det är mer kostsamt. Ingen effekt av musiken förelåg, förutom att kvinnorna skattade män som mindre attraktiva för ett längre förhållande när skicklighetsnivån var hög jämfört med när den var medelhög.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013.
Keyword [en]
Costly signals, handicap principle, music, evolutionary psychology, signalling, sexual signalling, female choice
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-73419OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-73419DiVA: diva2:631481
Educational program
Programme in Cognitive Science
Available from: 2013-11-13 Created: 2013-06-20 Last updated: 2013-11-13Bibliographically approved

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Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

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Department of Psychology
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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