I have to wonder why every psych result in the world seems to end up as a press release. Sure, this research is worth doing, but is it really ground-breaking enough that it should be trumpeted to the media? This one says that people who are treated as losers and rejected by their peers are, as a result, hostile. Gee, really? Thanks. (It’s mildly interesting that this doesn’t seem to be mediated by emotion, but press-release-worthy?)
Also getting a press release: kids whose home lives are abusive are more likely to carry guns to school. Really? No shit?
But none are as obvious as this one. I’ll just give you the headline:
Hearing Messages in Noise Could be Schizophrenia
And here’s one for Mike:
Although hostility or belligerent acts might not immediately appear to be linked to reproduction, the research forthcoming in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology shows that mating goals may underlie behaviors such as aggression.
Griskevicius, a marketing professor at the U of M’s Carlson School of Management, and his co-authors, have found conclusive evidence that merely activating a desire for status can trigger aggression. Aggressive displays, which may result in enhanced status, indirectly boost an individual’s ability to attract a mate and, thereby, reproduce.
“It all boils down to the fact that status for men typically equals sex. Across different cultures and time, the higher status men have, the more sex or better-quality partners they may have,” said Griskevicius.
“At the gene level, nobody wants to go down in an evolutionary blaze of glory–no one wants their genes to become extinct. Additionally, unlike low-status women, low-status men are in serious danger of not reproducing, since they make especially undesirable mates.”
“Think of it this way,” said Griskevicius, “For men, fighting for status is akin to fighting for the survival of their genes. Not caring about status, which can be implied by backing away from a fight, can be evolutionary suicide. Aggression can lead to status. A higher status leads to sex, and that leads to more or higher-quality offspring.”
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go beat someone up.