RCBB Research Seminar Series Talk - Dr Minna Lyons (LJMU)

Peacocks or predators? Socially aversive personality traits, attractiveness, and coercion in human mating

Tom Reilly Building, room 1.43

13:00 - 14:00

In this RCBB Research Seminar Series talk, Dr Minna Lyons will present her current research under the title "Peacocks or predators? Socially aversive personality traits, attractiveness, and coercion in human mating”.

Abstract: Successful reproduction is contingent on several cognitions and behaviours that relate to mate choice, competition, and coercion. In the past few decades, there has been a mushrooming of studies investigating socially aversive personality traits as potential adaptations for promiscuous mating. In this talk, I will discuss research on the Dark Triad (i.e., Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy), focusing on two themes: attractiveness and coercion. Individuals at the high end of the Dark Triad continuum have an enhanced interest in promiscuous mating, and seem to be successful in short-term mate acquisition. The interesting question is how this success is achieved- is it facilitated by attractiveness to the opposite sex, or by the use of coercive tactics? Our studies suggest that women perceive high Dark Triad facial morphs as undesirable mating partners, irrespective of numerous contextual factors. This has led us to investigate whether short-term mating success of high Dark Triad individuals is based on coercive strategies rather than attractiveness. I will discuss several studies where we demonstrate that the Dark Triad relates to sexual harassment proclivity, misperceptions of consent, and victim blame. Socially aversive personalities seem to achieve their mating goals by harassment and coercion rather than through attractiveness.

If you have any queries, please contact Valentina Cazzato or Michael Richter.