Advertisement

Facing Competing Motives: Testing for Motivational Tradeoffs in Affiliative and Pathogen-Avoidant Motives via Extraverted Face Preferences

  • Mitch BrownEmail author
  • Mary M. Medlin
  • Donald F. Sacco
  • Steven G. Young
Research Article

Abstract

Affiliative and pathogen-avoidant motives adaptively influence interpersonal preferences. For facial structures connoting extraversion, affiliative motives heighten preferences for extraverted faces, whereas pathogen-avoidant motives downregulate preferences. Despite what appears to be competing tension between motives for preferences in extraverted faces, previous research had yet to identify this possibility within a single experiment. The current study temporally activated an affiliative, pathogen-avoidant, or control state before tasking participants with indicating preferences for extraverted faces, relative to introverted, and support for campus-wide social networking activities to demonstrate convergence with previous findings demonstrating temporal shifts in affiliative interest. Although activated motivational states did not influence interpersonal preferences directly in this study, mediation analyses revealed participants’ upregulated extraverted face preferences and support for a campus social network following an exclusionary experience because of a heightened affiliative desire. We frame results as motivational tradeoffs, offering suggestions to identify competing motive effects more effectively for future research.

Keywords

Disease Exclusion Motivational tradeoff Extraversion Face perception 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.

References

  1. Ainsworth, S. E., & Maner, J. K. (in press). Pathogen avoidance mechanisms affect women’s preference for symmetrical male faces. In Evolutionary behavioral sciences.Google Scholar
  2. Al-Shawaf, L., Lewis, D. M., & Buss, D. M. (2015). Disgust and mating strategy. Evolution and Human Behavior, 36, 199–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Al-Shawaf, L., Lewis, D. M., & Buss, D. M. (2018). Sex differences in disgust: why are women more easily disgusted than men? Emotion Review, 10, 149–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ashton, M. C., & Lee, K. (2007). Empirical, theoretical, and practical advantages of the HEXACO model of personality structure. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 11, 150–166.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117, 497–529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Beekman, J. B., Stock, M. L., & Marcus, T. (2016). Need to belong, not rejection sensitivity, moderates cortisol response, self-reported stress, and negative affect following social exclusion. The Journal of Social Psychology, 156, 131–138.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Bernstein, M. J., Sacco, D. F., Brown, C. M., Young, S. G., & Claypool, H. M. (2010). A preference for genuine smiles following social exclusion. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 196–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Borkenau, P., Mauer, N., Riemann, R., Spinath, F. M., & Angleitner, A. (2004). Thin slices of behavior as cues of personality and intelligence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86, 599–614.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Brown, M., Rodriguez, D. N., Gretak, A. P., & Berry, M. A. (2017). Preliminary evidence for how the behavioral immune system predicts juror decision-making. Evolutionary Psychological Science, 3, 325–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brown, M., & Sacco, D. F. (2016). Avoiding extraverts: pathogen concern downregulates preferences for extraverted faces. Evolutionary Psychological Science, 2, 278–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Brown, M., & Sacco, D. F. (2017). Greater need to belong predicts a stronger preference for extraverted faces. Personality and Individual Differences, 104, 220–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Brown, M., Sacco, D. F., & Medlin, M. M. (2019). Approaching extraverts: socially excluded men prefer extraverted faces. Personality and Individual Differences, 137, 198–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2008). Incidence, prevalence, and cost of sexually transmitted infections in the United States. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats/sti-estimates-fact-sheet-feb-2013.pdf
  14. Cohen, S., Doyle, W. J., Turner, R., Alper, C. M., & Skoner, D. P. (2003). Sociability and susceptibility to the common cold. Psychological Science, 14, 389–395.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Funder, D. C. (2012). Accurate personality judgment. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 21, 177–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hayes, A. F. (2013). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach. Guilford Publications.Google Scholar
  17. Holtzman, N. S. (2011). Facing a psychopath: detecting the dark triad from emotionally-neutral faces, using prototypes from the Personality Faceaurus. Journal of Research in Personality, 45, 648–654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jones, K. E., Patel, N. G., Levy, M. A., Storeygard, A., Balk, D., Gittleman, J. L., & Daszak, P. (2008). Global trends in emerging infectious diseases. Nature, 451, 990–993.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  19. Keefer, L. A., Brown, M., & Rothschild, Z. K. (in press). Framing plagiarism as a disease heightens students’ valuation of academic integrity. International Journal of Psychology.Google Scholar
  20. Kenrick, D. T., Griskevicius, V., Neuberg, S. L., & Schaller, M. (2010). Renovating the pyramid of needs: contemporary extensions built upon ancient foundations. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 5, 292–314.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  21. Kline, R. B. (2015). The mediation myth. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 37, 202–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kramer, R. S., & Ward, R. (2010). Internal facial features are signals of personality and health. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 63, 2273–2287.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Little, A. C., & Perrett, D. I. (2007). Using composite images to assess accuracy in personality attribution to faces. British Journal of Psychology, 98, 111–126.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Maner, J. K., DeWall, C. N., Baumeister, R. F., & Schaller, M. (2007). Does social exclusion motivate interpersonal reconnection? Resolving the “porcupine problem”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92, 42–55.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Miller, S. L., & Maner, J. K. (2011). Sick body, vigilant mind: the biological immune system activates the behavioral immune system. Psychological Science, 22, 1467–1471.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Møller, A. P., Dufva, R., & Allander, K. (1993). Parasites and the evolution of host social behavior. Advances in the Study of Behavior, 22, 65–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mortensen, C. R., Becker, D. V., Ackerman, J. M., Neuberg, S. L., & Kenrick, D. T. (2010). Infection breeds reticence: the effects of disease salience on self-perceptions of personality and behavioral avoidance tendencies. Psychological Science, 21, 440–447.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Murray, D. R., Kerry, N., & Gervais, W. M. (2019). On disease and deontology: multiple tests of the influence of disease threat on moral vigilance. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 10, 44–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Murray, D. R., & Schaller, M. (2016). The behavioral immune system: implications for social cognition, social interaction, and social influence. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 53, 75–129.Google Scholar
  30. Naumann, L. P., Vazire, S., Rentfrow, P. J., & Gosling, S. D. (2009). Personality judgments based on physical appearance. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 1661–1671.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Neel, R., Kenrick, D. T., White, A. E., & Neuberg, S. L. (2016). Individual differences in fundamental social motives. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 110, 887–907.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Nettle, D. (2005). An evolutionary approach to the extraversion continuum. Evolution and Human Behavior, 26, 363–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Neuberg, S. L., Kenrick, D. T., & Schaller, M. (2011). Human threat management systems: self-protection and disease avoidance. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 35, 1042–1051.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Pollet, T. V., Roberts, S. G., & Dunbar, R. I. (2011). Extraverts have larger social network layers. Journal of Individual Differences, 32, 161–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Rucker, D. D., Preacher, K. J., Tormala, Z. L., & Petty, R. E. (2011). Mediation analysis in social psychology: current practices and new recommendations. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 5, 359–371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sacco, D. F., & Brown, M. (2018a). The face of personality: adaptive inferences from facial cues are moderated by perceiver personality and motives. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 12, e12410.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sacco, D. F., & Brown, M. (2018b). Preferences for facially communicated big five personality traits and their relation to self-reported big five personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 134, 195–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sacco, D. F., Young, S. G., & Hugenberg, K. (2014). Balancing competing motives: adaptive trade-offs are necessary to satisfy disease avoidance and interpersonal affiliation goals. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40, 1611–1623.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Sawada, N., Auger, E., & Lydon, J. E. (2018). Activation of the behavioral immune system: putting the brakes on affiliation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 44, 224–237.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Schaller, M., & Murray, D. R. (2008). Pathogens, personality, and culture: disease prevalence predicts worldwide variability in sociosexuality, extraversion, and openness to experience. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 212–221.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Tybur, J. M., Lieberman, D., & Griskevicius, V. (2009). Microbes, mating, and morality: individual differences in three functional domains of disgust. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97, 103–122.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. White, A. E., Kenrick, D. T., & Neuberg, S. L. (2013). Beauty at the ballot box: disease threats predict preferences for physically attractive leaders. Psychological Science, 24, 2429–2436.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Young, S. G., Sacco, D. F., & Hugenberg, K. (2011). Vulnerability to disease is associated with a domain-specific preference for symmetrical faces relative to symmetrical non-face stimuli. European Journal of Social Psychology, 41, 558–563.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Zebrowitz, L. A., & Collins, M. A. (1997). Accurate social perception at zero acquaintance: the affordances of a Gibsonian approach. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 1, 204–223.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mitch Brown
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mary M. Medlin
    • 1
  • Donald F. Sacco
    • 1
  • Steven G. Young
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Psychology, Owings-McQuagge Hall 226The University of Southern MississippiHattiesburgUSA
  2. 2.Fairleigh Dickinson UniversityTeaneckUSA
  3. 3.CUNY Baruch CollegeNew York CityUSA

Personalised recommendations