Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Human mate-choice copying is domain-general social learning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Women appear to copy other women’s preferences for men’s faces. This ‘mate-choice copying’ is often taken as evidence of psychological adaptations for processing social information related to mate choice, for which facial information is assumed to be particularly salient. No controlled experiment, however, has directly investigated whether women preferentially copy face preferences compared with other kinds of decision. Further, because prior experimental studies used artificial social information, the effect of real social information on attractiveness preferences is unknown. We collected attractiveness ratings of pictures of men’s faces, men’s hands, and abstract art given by heterosexual women, before and after participants saw genuine social information gathered in real time from their peers. Ratings of faces were influenced by social information, but no more or less so than were images of hands and abstract art. Our results suggest that evidence for domain-specific social learning mechanisms in humans is weaker than previously assumed.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number1715
JournalScientific Reports
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2018

    Research areas

  • Mate choice, Social learning, Human behaviour, Cultural evolution

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Sex differences in confidence influence patterns of conformity

    Cross, C. P., Brown, G. R., Morgan, T. J. H. & Laland, K. N., Nov 2017, In : British Journal of Psychology. 108, 4, p. 655-667

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Social transmission favours the ‘morally good’ over the ‘merely arousing’

    Stubbersfield, J. M., Dean, L. G., Sheikh, S., Laland, K. N. & Cross, C. P., 4 Jun 2019, In : Palgrave Communications. 5, 11 p., 3.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Sex differences in the use of social information emerge under conditions of risk

    Brand, C. O., Brown, G. R. & Cross, C. P., 3 Jan 2018, In : PeerJ. 6, 18 p., e4190.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. The social construction of human nature

    Laland, K. N. & Brown, G. R., 2018, Why We Disagree About Human Nature. Hannon, E. & Lewens, T. (eds.). Oxford University Press, p. 127-144

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  5. Evolutionary accounts of human behaviour

    Laland, K. N. & Brown, G. R., 2018, Manual da Psicologia Evolucionista. Yamamoto, M. E. & Valentova, J. V. (eds.). Editoria da UFRN, p. 568-595

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Related by journal

  1. Scientific Reports (Journal)

    Monica Arso Civil (Reviewer)
    Jul 2018 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  2. Scientific Reports (Journal)

    Anouk Margaretha Borst (Reviewer)
    10 Feb 2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  3. Scientific Reports (Journal)

    Emma Louise Carroll (Member of editorial board)
    3 Oct 2016

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  4. Scientific Reports (Journal)

    Uli Schwarz-Linek (Reviewer)
    11 May 2016

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  5. Scientific Reports (Journal)

    Ildiko Maureen Lara Somorjai (Reviewer)
    2016 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Related by journal

  1. A comparative analysis of response times shows that multisensory benefits and interactions are not equivalent

    Innes, B. R. & Otto, T. U., 27 Feb 2019, In : Scientific Reports. 9, 10 p., 2921.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. A large explosive silicic eruption in the British Palaeogene Igneous Province

    Troll, V. R., Emeleus, C. H., Nicoll, G. R., Mattsson, T., Ellam, R. M., Donaldson, C. H. & Harris, C., 24 Jan 2019, In : Scientific Reports. 9, 1, 15 p., 494.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Automated tumour budding quantification by machine learning augments TNM staging in muscle-invasive bladder cancer prognosis

    Brieu, N., Gavriel, C., Nearchou, I. P., Harrison, D. J., Schmidt, G. & Caie, P. D., 26 Mar 2019, In : Scientific Reports. 9, 5174.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Classifying grey seal behaviour in relation to environmental variability and commercial fishing activity - a multivariate hidden Markov model

    van Beest, F. M., Mews, S., Elkenkamp, S., Schuhmann, P., Tsolak, D., Wobbe, T., Bartolino, V., Bastardie, F., Dietz, R., von Dorrien, C., Galatius, A., Karlsson, O., McConnell, B., Nabe-Nielsen, J., Olsen, M. T., Teilmann, J. & Langrock, R., 4 Apr 2019, In : Scientific Reports. 9, 14 p., 5642.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Defining the genes for the final steps in biosynthesis of the complex polyketide antibiotic mupirocin by Pseudomonas fluorescens NCIMB10586

    Connolly, J. A., Wilson, A., Macioszek, M., Song, Z., Wang, L., Mohammad, H. H., Yadav, M., di Martino, M., Miller, C. E., Hothersall, J., Haines, A. S., Stephens, E. R., Crump, M. P., Willis, C. L., Simpson, T. J., Winn, P. J. & Thomas, C. M., 7 Feb 2019, In : Scientific Reports. 9, 9 p., 1542.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 252002566