Effortful or natural? Which athletic traits are most attractive?
SubjectAthletics - Psychological aspects; Mate selection - Psychological aspects; Sexual attraction; Evolutionary psychology; Conscientiousness; Short-term; Long-term; Attractiveness; Mating; Athletics
The current research sought to investigate the influence of athletic efforts on how one is perceived as a potential short and long-term mate. When conscientiousness, which is the ability to exert self-control in the process of attaining a long-term goal (Nettle, 2006), was displayed in an athlete through a vignette, it was predicted that the athlete would be preferred as a long-term mate, whereas a naturally talented athlete would be preferred as a short-term mate. After exposure to this vignette of a college basketball player displaying his/her diligence or inherent talent, and answering a number of questions regarding his/her attractiveness as a potential mate, it was found that mating preferences on athletes partially coincide with existing literature on gender-differentiated mating behavior, despite none of the hypotheses being fully supported. Moreover, being diligent in one’s efforts in athletics positively promotes perceptions of various characteristics, such as intelligence, health, liveliness, and dominance.
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