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  • BAUMARD Nicolas (4)
  • CHEVALLIER Coralie (4)
  • ALGAN Yann (3)
  • WYART Valentin (1)
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It is a trope in psychological science to define the human species as inherently social. Yet, despite its key role in human behaviour, the mechanisms by which social bonding actually shapes social behaviour have not been fully characterized. Across six studies, we show that the motivation for social bonding does not indiscriminately increase individuals' willingness to approach others but that it is instead associated with specific variations in social evaluations. Studies 1-4 demonstrate that social motivation is associated with a larger importance granted to cooperation-related impressions, i.e. perceived trustworthiness, during social evaluations. Studies 5 and 6 further reveal that this weighting difference leads strongly socially motivated participants to approach more partners that are perceived as both dominant and trustworthy. Taken together, our results provide support for the idea that humans' social motivation is associated with specific social preferences that could favour successful cooperative interactions and a widening of people's cooperative circle.

There is considerable variation in health and reproductive behaviours within and across human populations. Drawing on principles from Life History Theory, psychosocial acceleration theory predicts that individuals developing in harsh environments decrease their level of somatic investment and accelerate their reproductive schedule. Although there is consistent empirical support for this general prediction, most studies have focused on a few isolated life history traits and few have investigated the way in which individuals apply life strategies across reproductive and somatic domains to produce coordinated behavioural responses to their environment. In our study, we thus investigate the impact of childhood environmental harshness on both reproductive strategies and somatic investment by applying structural equation modeling (SEM) to cross-sectional survey data obtained in a representative sample of the French population (n = 1015, age: 19–87 years old, both genders). This data allowed us to demonstrate that (i) inter-individual variation in somatic investment (e.g. effort in looking after health) and reproductive timing (e.g. age at first birth) can be captured by a latent fast-slow continuum, and (ii) faster strategies along this continuum are predicted by higher childhood harshness. Overall, our results support the existence of a fast-slow continuum and highlight the relevance of the life history approach for understanding variations in reproductive and health related behaviours.

in Evolution and Human Behavior Publié en 2017-09
TECU Teodora
GRÈZES Julie
BAUMARD Nicolas
CHEVALLIER Coralie
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Understanding the origins of political authoritarianism is of key importance for modern democracies. Recent works in evolutionary psychology suggest that human cognitive preferences may be the output of a biological response to early stressful environments. In this paper, we hypothesized that people's leader preferences are partly driven by early signals of harshness. We experimentally elicited children's (Study 1) and adults' (Study 2) political preferences using faces controlled for dominance and trustworthiness and showed that early childhood harshness has an enduring effect on adult political attitudes. Importantly, this effect was further confirmed using self-reported extreme authoritarianism (Study 2) and by the analysis of the large database of the European Value Survey (Study 3). We discuss the potential political implications of this early calibration of leader preferences.

There is considerable variation in health and reproductive behaviours within and across human populations. Drawing on principles from Life History Theory, psychosocial acceleration theory predicts that individuals developing in harsh environments decrease their level of somatic investment and accelerate their reproductive schedule. Although there is consistent empirical support for this general prediction, most studies have focused on a few isolated life history traits and few have investigated the way in which individuals apply life strategies across reproductive and somatic domains to produce coordinated behavioural responses to their environment. In our study, we thus investigate the impact of childhood environmental harshness on both reproductive strategies and somatic investment by applying structural equation modeling (SEM) to cross-sectional survey data obtained in a representative sample of the French population (n = 1015, age: 19 – 87 years old, both genders). This data allowed us to demonstrate that (i) inter-individual variation in somatic investment (e.g. effort in looking after health) and reproductive timing (e.g. age at first birth) can be captured by a latent fast-slow continuum, and (ii) faster strategies along this continuum are predicted by higher childhood harshness. Overall, our results support the existence of a fast-slow continuum and highlight the relevance of the life history approach for understanding variations in reproductive and health related behaviours.