Effect of the experimental manipulation of status-revealing contextual cues on male attractiveness
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Negative connotations often surround the pursuit of and attraction to status in an opposite sex attraction/attractiveness or mating scenario. That said evolutionary psychologists in particular have accepted for some time that traits which reveal its existence are used by males to attract females and by females to assess the qualities of a given male. Research has often made use of survey-based methodologies to explore such behaviours, desires and preferences however recent years have seen an increase in studies that have used experimental designs to identify status-linked contextual cues that are used by females as important potential mate-assessment guides. These studies have shown how the perceived ownership of status-revealing material commodities (e.g. clothing, motorcars and luxury homes) can influence women’s attraction to men and how men ignore such cues in their mate evaluation. In addition to reviewing studies that have helped reveal the universal significance of status in a mating context in our own and other species, as well as how cues revealing status can be manipulated experimentally as outlined above, the article proposes how experimental procedures in the future can be devised to help delineate the more precise nature of contextual cues used in mate attraction for women.
Dunn, M. (2014) 'Effect of the experimental manipulation of status-revealing contextual cues on male attractiveness', in Rennolds, A. (ed.) Psychology of Interpersonal Perception. New York: Nova
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