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Strategic Reactions to Infants: Female Self-Presentation in a Romantic Context:

Strategic Reactions to Infants: Female Self-Presentation in a Romantic Context: Research has demonstrated that humans engage in various self-presentational behaviours in the context of mate attraction. We build and expand on these efforts by showing that female facial behaviour also responds to the manipulation of romantic motivation in ways congruent with the logic of evolutionary theory. Given that childbearing is an important goal of human courtship, we hypothesized that during the initial stages of romantic encounters one way that women can advertize their quality is through their emotional reactions to children. Two studies were conducted to determine whether women would self-present in the context of romance by augmenting positive reactions (e.g., smiling more) or by attenuating negative reactions (e.g., frowning less). In both studies participants were undergraduate psychology students. Study 1 was an online study; it examined reported facial expressions towards and cognitive evaluations of infants. Study 2 was a laboratory study in which participants' spontaneous facial behavior was videotaped while they watched a video of infants (vs. a neutral film). In both studies we found support only for the hypothesis that, when in a romantic context, women attenuate negative reactions. Such attenuation was found for facial expressions, but not for cognitive or affective evaluations of infants. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Evolutionary Psychology SAGE

Strategic Reactions to Infants: Female Self-Presentation in a Romantic Context:

Strategic Reactions to Infants: Female Self-Presentation in a Romantic Context:

Evolutionary Psychology , Volume 11 (2): 1 – Apr 1, 2013

Abstract

Research has demonstrated that humans engage in various self-presentational behaviours in the context of mate attraction. We build and expand on these efforts by showing that female facial behaviour also responds to the manipulation of romantic motivation in ways congruent with the logic of evolutionary theory. Given that childbearing is an important goal of human courtship, we hypothesized that during the initial stages of romantic encounters one way that women can advertize their quality is through their emotional reactions to children. Two studies were conducted to determine whether women would self-present in the context of romance by augmenting positive reactions (e.g., smiling more) or by attenuating negative reactions (e.g., frowning less). In both studies participants were undergraduate psychology students. Study 1 was an online study; it examined reported facial expressions towards and cognitive evaluations of infants. Study 2 was a laboratory study in which participants' spontaneous facial behavior was videotaped while they watched a video of infants (vs. a neutral film). In both studies we found support only for the hypothesis that, when in a romantic context, women attenuate negative reactions. Such attenuation was found for facial expressions, but not for cognitive or affective evaluations of infants.

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © 2022 by SAGE Publications Inc., unless otherwise noted. Manuscript content on this site is licensed under Creative Commons Licenses
ISSN
1474-7049
eISSN
1474-7049
DOI
10.1177/147470491301100201
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Research has demonstrated that humans engage in various self-presentational behaviours in the context of mate attraction. We build and expand on these efforts by showing that female facial behaviour also responds to the manipulation of romantic motivation in ways congruent with the logic of evolutionary theory. Given that childbearing is an important goal of human courtship, we hypothesized that during the initial stages of romantic encounters one way that women can advertize their quality is through their emotional reactions to children. Two studies were conducted to determine whether women would self-present in the context of romance by augmenting positive reactions (e.g., smiling more) or by attenuating negative reactions (e.g., frowning less). In both studies participants were undergraduate psychology students. Study 1 was an online study; it examined reported facial expressions towards and cognitive evaluations of infants. Study 2 was a laboratory study in which participants' spontaneous facial behavior was videotaped while they watched a video of infants (vs. a neutral film). In both studies we found support only for the hypothesis that, when in a romantic context, women attenuate negative reactions. Such attenuation was found for facial expressions, but not for cognitive or affective evaluations of infants.

Journal

Evolutionary PsychologySAGE

Published: Apr 1, 2013

Keywords: emotion; facial expressions; FACS; mate attraction; nonverbal behaviour; strategic communication

References