Advertisement

Evolutionary Psychological Science

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 443–455 | Cite as

Creative Casanovas: Mating Strategy Predicts Using—but Not Preferring—Atypical Flirting Tactics

  • Justin White
  • Helena Lorenz
  • Carin Perilloux
  • Aliehs Lee
Research Article

Abstract

Although flirting behaviors tend to be covert, subtle signals of sexual interest, people are routinely able to employ and decipher such signals successfully to attract mates. Flirting research often focuses on the accuracy of interpreting flirting signals, but the creation and employment of flirting signals has been understudied. The present set of studies examined whether mating strategy would impact preferences for typical or atypical flirting behaviors. In study 1, we conducted an act nomination followed by two rounds of pilot testing to generate a set of flirting behaviors rated on typicality and effectiveness (total N = 416). For study 2, participants (N = 396) read scenarios in which an opposite sex individual showed sexual interest in them, and then chose a response from a set of flirting behaviors that varied in typicality. Consistent with our hypothesis, pursuing a short-term mating strategy was associated with selecting more atypical behaviors. Finally, study 3 explored whether short-term mating would also be associated with preferring atypical flirting behaviors when one is the target rather than the initiator. Participants (N = 486) responded to the same scenarios and flirting behavior options as in study 2 but this time selected which flirting behavior would be most attractive to them as the target. Interestingly, the relationship between mating strategy and typicality of flirting behaviors disappeared; almost all participants preferred the initiator to use the most typical flirting behavior. The apparent mismatch for short-term maters between flirting strategies employed and preferred is discussed.

Keywords

Flirting Mating strategy Sex differences Atypical Creativity 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

40806_2018_155_MOESM1_ESM.docx (86 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 85 kb)

References

  1. Anderson, R. C., Surbey, M. K., & Mitchell, D. A. (2018). Mate copying is moderated by relationship recency and potentially by breakup responsibility. Evolutionary Psychological Science . Advance online publication.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s40806-018-0141-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ashton, M. C., Lee, K., & Paunonen, S. V. (2002). What is the central feature of extraversion? Social attention versus reward sensitivity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, 245–251.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.83.1.245.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Buss, D. M. (1989). Sex differences in human mate preferences: evolutionary hypotheses tested in 37 countries. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 12(1), 1–49.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X00023992. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Buss, D. M., & Barnes, M. (1986). Preferences in human mate selection. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50(3), 559–570.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.50.3.559.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Buss, D. M., & Schmitt, D. P. (1993). Sexual strategies theory: an evolutionary perspective on human mating. Psychological Review, 100(2), 204–232.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.100.2.204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Clark, C. L., Shaver, P. R., & Abrahams, M. F. (1999). Strategic behaviors in romantic relationship initiation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25(6), 707–720.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167299025006006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Day, R. C., & Hamblin, R. L. (1964). Some effects of close and punitive styles of supervision. American Journal of Sociology, 69(5), 499–510.  https://doi.org/10.1086/223653.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dillon, H. M., Adair, L. E., Geher, G., Wang, Z., & Strouts, P. H. (2016). Playing smart: the mating game and mating intelligence. Current Psychology: A Journal for Diverse Perspectives on Diverse Psychological Issues, 35(3), 414–420.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-015-9309-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Driver, P. M., & Humphries, D. A. (1988). Protean behaviour: the biology of unpredictability. New York: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  10. Farley, S. D. (2014). Nonverbal reactions to an attractive stranger: the role of mimicry in communicating preferred social distance. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 38(2), 195–208.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10919-014-0174-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Farris, C., Viken, R., & Treat, T. (2010). Perceived association between diagnostic and non-diagnostic cues of women’s sexual interest: general recognition theory predictors of risk for sexual coercion. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 54, 137–149.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmp.2008.10.001.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. Gersick, A., & Kurzban, R. (2014). Covert sexual signaling: human flirtation and implications for other social species. Evolutionary Psychology, 12(3), 549.  https://doi.org/10.1177/147470491401200305.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Grammer, K. (1990). Strangers meet: laughter and nonverbal signs of interest in opposite-sex encounters. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 14(4), 209–236.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00989317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Grammer, K., Kruck, K., Juette, A., & Fink, B. (2000). Non-verbal behavior as courtship signals: the role of control and choice in selecting partners. Evolution and Human Behavior, 21(6), 371–390.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S1090-5138(00)00053-2.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Green, D. M., & Swets, J. A. (1966). Signal detection theory and psychophysics. Oxford: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  16. Greengross, G., & Miller, G. (2011). Humor ability reveals intelligence, predicts mating success, and is higher in males. Intelligence, 39(4), 188–192.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intell.2011.03.006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Guéguen, N. (2008). The effect of a woman’s smile on men’s courtship behavior. Social Behavior and Personality: An International Journal, 36(9), 1233–1236.  https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2008.36.9.1233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hall, J. A. (2015). Sexual selection and humor in courtship: a case for warmth and extroversion. Evolutionary Psychology, 13(3), 1–10.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1474704915598918. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hall, J. A., & Xing, C. (2015). The verbal and nonverbal correlates of the five flirting styles. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 39(1), 41–68.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10919-014-0199-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hall, J. A., Xing, C., & Brooks, S. (2015). Accurately detecting flirting: error management theory, the traditional sexual script, and flirting base rate. Communication Research, 42(7), 939–958.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0093650214534972.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Henningsen, D. D., Henningsen, M. L. M., & Valde, K. S. (2006). Gender differences in perceptions of women’s sexual interest during cross-sex interactions: an application and extension of cognitive valence theory. Sex Roles, 54, 821–829.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-006-9050-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jones, K. A., Jackson, A. L., & Ruxton, G. D. (2011). Prey jitters, protean behaviour in grouped prey. Behavioral Ecology, 22(4), 831–836.  https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arr062.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kaufman, J. C. (2016). Creativity 101. New York: Springer Publishing Co..CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Koukounas, E., & Letch, N. M. (2001). Psychological correlates of perception of sexual intent in women. The Journal of Social Psychology, 14(4), 443–456.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00224540109600564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kurzban, R. (2010). Why everyone (else) is a hypocrite: evolution and the modular mind. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Kurzban, R., & Aktipis, C. A. (2007). Modularity and the social mind: are psychologists too self-ish? Personality and Social Psychology Review, 11, 131–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lee, J. J., & Pinker, S. (2010). Rationales for indirect speech: the theory of the strategic speaker. Psychological Review, 117(3), 785–807.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0019688.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. McCormick, N. B., & Jones, A. J. (1989). Gender differences in nonverbal flirtation. Journal of Sex Education & Therapy, 15(4), 271–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Miller, G. F. (1997). Protean Primates: the evolution of adaptive unpredictability in competition and courtship. In A. Whiten & R. W. Byrne (Eds.), Machiavellian intelligence II: Extension and evaluations (pp. 312–340). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Miller, G. (2000). The mating mind: how sexual choice shaped the evolution of human nature. New York: Doubleday & Co..Google Scholar
  31. Miller, G. F. (2001). Aesthetic fitness: how sexual selection shaped artistic virtuosity as a fitness indicator and aesthetic preferences as mate choice criteria. Bulletin of Psychology and the Arts, 2(1), 20–25 Special issue on Evolution, creativity, and aesthetics.Google Scholar
  32. Moore, M. M. (1985). Nonverbal courtship patterns in women: context and consequences. Ethology & Sociobiology, 6(4), 237–247.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0162-3095(85)90016-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Moore, M. M. (1995). Courtship signaling and adolescents: ‘girls just wanna have fun. Journal of Sex Research, 32(4), 319–328.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499509551805.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Moore, M. M. (2002). Courtship communication and perception. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 94(1), 97–105.  https://doi.org/10.2466/PMS.94.1.97-105.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Moore, M. M. (2010). Human nonverbal courtship behavior—a brief historical review. Journal of Sex Research, 47(2–3), 171–180.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00224490903402520.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Nettle, D. (2008). Why is creativity attractive in a potential mate? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 31(3), 275–276.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X08004366. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Nettle, D., & Clegg, H. (2008). Personality, mating strategy, and mating intelligence. In G. Geher & G. Miller (Eds.), Mating intelligence: Sex, relationships, and the mind’s reproductive system (pp. 121–134). Mahwah: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  38. Penke, L., & Asendorpf, J. B. (2008). Beyond global sociosexual orientations: a more differentiated look at sociosexuality and its effects on courtship and romantic relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(5), 1113–1135.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.95.5.1113.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Pinker, S., Nowak, M. A., & Lee, J. J. (2008). The logic of indirect speech. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(3), 833–838.  https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0707192105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Prokosch, M. D., Cross, R. G., Scheib, J. E., & Blozis, S. A. (2009). Intelligence and mate choice: Intelligent men are always appealing. Evolution and Human Behavior, 30(1), 11–20.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2008.07.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Renninger, L. A., Wade, T. J., & Grammer, K. (2004). Getting that female glance: patterns and consequences of male nonverbal behavior in courtship contexts. Evolution and Human Behavior, 25(6), 416–431.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2004.08.006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Schmitt, D. P. (2002). A meta-analysis of sex differences in romantic attraction: do rating contexts moderate tactic effectiveness judgments? British Journal of Social Psychology, 41(3), 387–402.  https://doi.org/10.1348/014466602760344278.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Soto, C. J., & John, O. P. (2017). The next big five inventory (BFI-2): developing and assessing a hierarchical model with 15 facets to enhance bandwidth, fidelity, and predictive power. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 113(1), 117–143.  https://doi.org/10.1037/pspp0000096.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Stajkovic, A. D. (2006). Development of a core confidence-higher order construct. Journal of Applied Psychology, 91(6), 1208–1224.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.91.6.1208.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Stanik, C., Kurzban, R., & Ellsworth, P. (2010). Rejection hurts: the effect of being dumped on subsequent mating efforts. Evolutionary Psychology, 8(4), 682–694.  https://doi.org/10.1177/147470491000800410.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Stillman, T. F., & Maner, J. K. (2008). A sharp eye for her SOI: perception and misperception of female sociosexuality at zero acquaintance. Evolution and Human Behavior, 30, 124–130.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2008.09.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Trivers, R. L. (1972). Parental investment and sexual selection. In B. Campell (Ed.), Sexual selection and the descent of man: 1871–1971 (pp. 136–179). Chicago: Aldine.Google Scholar
  48. Wade, T. J., & Slemp, J. (2015). How to flirt best: the perceived effectiveness of flirtation techniques. Interpersona: An International Journal on Personal Relationships, 9(1), 32–43.  https://doi.org/10.5964/ijpr.v9i1.178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Wade, T. J., Burtie, L. K., & Hoffman, K. M. (2009). Women’s direct opening lines are perceived as most effective. Personality and Individual Differences, 47(2), 145–149.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2009.02.016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Walsh, D. G., & Hewitt, J. (1985). Giving men the come-on: effect of eye contact and smiling in a bar environment. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 61(3, Pt 1), 873–874.  https://doi.org/10.2466/pms.1985.61.3.873.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Weisberg, R. W. (2009). On “out-of-the-box” thinking in creativity. In A. B. Markman & K. L. Wood (Eds.), Tools for innovation: The science behind the practical methods that drive new ideas (pp. 23–48). New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Justin White
    • 1
  • Helena Lorenz
    • 1
  • Carin Perilloux
    • 1
  • Aliehs Lee
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySouthwestern UniversityGeorgetownUSA

Personalised recommendations