Mating Intelligence Unleashed: The Role of the Mind in Sex, Dating, and Love

Mating Intelligence Unleashed: The Role of the Mind in Sex, Dating, and Love

by Glenn Geher
     
 

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Psychologists often paint a picture of human mating as visceral, instinctual. But that's not the whole story. In courtship and display, sexual competition and rivalry, we are also guided by what Glenn Geher and Scott Barry Kaufman call Mating Intelligence--a range of mental abilities that have evolved to help us find the right partner. Mating Intelligence is

Overview

Psychologists often paint a picture of human mating as visceral, instinctual. But that's not the whole story. In courtship and display, sexual competition and rivalry, we are also guided by what Glenn Geher and Scott Barry Kaufman call Mating Intelligence--a range of mental abilities that have evolved to help us find the right partner. Mating Intelligence is at work in our efforts to form, maintain, and end relationships. It guides us in flirtation, foreplay, copulation, finding and choosing a mate, and many other behaviors. In Mating Intelligence Unleashed, psychologists Geher and Kaufman take readers on a fascinating tour of the crossroads of mating and intelligence, drawing on cutting-edge research on evolutionary psychology, intelligence, creativity, personality, social psychology, neuroscience, and more. The authors show that despite what you may read in the latest issue of Maxim, Playboy, Vogue, or GQ, physical attractiveness isn't the whole story. Human mating draws on a range of mental skills and attributes--from the creative use of pick-up lines, to displays of charisma, intelligence, humor, personality, and compassion. Along the way, the authors shed new light on age-old questions, such as: What role does personality play in mating? Which traits are attractive--and which traits repulse? How do people really choose mates? How do men and women deceive each other? How important is emotional intelligence? Why do people create art--and does it have anything to do with sex? Do nice guys really finish last? Since Glenn Geher coined the term Mating Intelligence in 2006, it has drawn a great deal of media attention, ranging from a Psychology Today cover story to articles in the New Scientist, the Washington Times, the Huffington Post, and elsewhere. Now, in Mating Intelligence Unleashed, readers will have the first full account of this revolutionary new approach to dating, mating, and love.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A cross between self-help manual and scientific study, this discourse on the factors that influence decision making in mate selection—both long- and short-term—disappoints on both fronts. Geher and Kaufman, both psychologists, coined the term "mating intelligence" and published a supplemental self-assessment in Psychology Today intended to measure readers' ability to accurately assess their "mating success," read cues delivered by the opposite sex, and more. Building off this quick test, the authors explore numerous aspects of dating and mating, including adaptive biases, whether nice guys really finish last (they argue that "a prestigious man, not a dominant man, is a woman's dream" and that "assholes may finish first, but prestigious men stay there"), "the relevance of IQ," as well as tenets of evolutionary psychology. Most compellingly (and pragmatically), the duo contend that sex education programs might be greatly enhanced and rendered more efficacious by shifting the focus to "mating education" and including psychological as well as physiological and anatomical material. Unfortunately, the bulk of the advice they offer is too simplistic to be convincing, and their scientific forays offer little that hasn't been done better elsewhere. Exclamation point-riddled prose doesn't help the authors, who come across as eager but inept. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
"Like a peer-reviewed version of 'The Game', this geeky treatise mines evolutionary and experimental psychology to help readers 'succeed in their own mating-relevant goals.'" The authors' broad test of 'mating intelligence,' originally devised as a magazine quiz, measures both desirable traits like creativity and kindness, and relationship skills like empathy, lie-detection... and even a bit of deception." — New York Times Science Times

"A lively, copiously researched treatise" — Nature

"Mating Intelligence Unleashed: The Role of the Mind in Sex, Dating, and Love, by psychologists Glenn Geher and Scott Barry Kaufman, is a compendium of cutting-edge research into what makes people tick, romantically and sexually." — NY Post

"Recommended to readers interested in evolutionary psychology and human sexuality." — Library Journal

Library Journal
Geher (psychology, evolutionary studies, State Univ. New York, New Paltz) and Kaufman (psychology, New York Univ.) discuss a new type of intelligence—mating intelligence. Using evolutionary psychology, the authors argue, one can measure, observe, predict, and improve one's mating intelligence, or essentially one's ability to attract and keep a mate, the idea being that in a time before birth control, mating intelligence evolved to ensure that more successful progeny would result. Topics covered include biased perceptions of the opposite sex, the role creativity plays in attracting a mate, the function of lying, and the importance of personality. Engaging questions such as "What is attractive to most men and women?" and "Do nice guys finish last?" are discussed in detail. The authors include a mating intelligence test that was successfully used in various studies. VERDICT Since most of the data here were collected from college students, the authors encourage additional investigation. The research will impact our views on mating and what motivates males and females in the mating game. Recommended to readers interested in evolutionary psychology and human sexuality.—Scott Vieira, Sam Houston State Univ. Lib., Huntsville, TX

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199333837
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
01/30/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
3 MB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Glenn Geher is Chair of the Psychology and Director of Evolutionary Studies at SUNY New Paltz, where he won the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Geher founded the NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society (NEEPS) and is co-founder of the international Evolutionary Studies (EvoS) Consortium, funded by the National Science Foundation. He is particularly interested in how evolution can help us understand all facets of the human animal and his many publications help us move toward this goal. His work has been featured in many media outlets--ranging from Psychology Today to Cosmopolitan to the Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott Barry Kaufman is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology at New York University and co-founder of The Creativity Post. An award-winning authority on intelligence, creativity, and the arts, he is co-editor of The Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence with Robert J. Sternberg and The Psychology of Creative Writing with James C. Kaufman. His work has been covered in media outlets such as Psychology Today, Scientific American Mind and Men's Health. Additionally, he blogs for Psychology Today, Huffington Post, Scientific American, and Harvard Business Review.

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