Question of the origin of play and playfulness has been one concern of Garry Chick, Professor at the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management, Penn State University. From an evolutionary perspective, Professor Chick has developed a theory in which he explains adult play and playfulness. It is now known why children and offspring play and what the advantages of play would be in their adult life – they are mentally being prepared for the problems and conflicts that they might face in their adult life. But what is the advantage of play and playfulness in human adults?
Professor Chick has proposed that “both male and female adult humans prefer mates who are playful because playfulness signals desirable attributes in possible mates.” Playfulness in males signals that they are not aggressive and would not harm the mother and the offspring. So females would prefer playful and harmless males. And playfulness in females signals health and fecundity, according to Professor Chick. On this basis, adult playfulness seems to be attractive to the opposite sex.
Professor Chick and two of his colleagues investigated this hypothesis experimentally and supported that with data. The article is now published in the latest issue of American Journal of Play and is accessible for free here.
Garry Chick, Careen Yarnal, and Andrew Purrington (2012). Play and Mate Preference Testing the Signal Theory of Adult Playfulness American Journal of Play, 4 (4)
Do you want to seem taller? Our study shows that your prestigious clothing affects perception of height, at least for the children.
Height is a biological factor that can affect how others perceive and behave toward an individual. Clothing, as a non-biological factor, can affect these perceptions of height. In this study we investigated the effect of different professions’ clothing on children’s perceptions of height.
One hundred and eighty primary school students participated in this study and estimated the height of an actor in the clothing of four different professions which differed in terms of prestige. For estimation of height, we developed a new device and method.
The results of study show that the difference between the perceived and actual height was larger when participants estimated the height of socially esteemed professions. Also there was no difference between girls’ and boys’ estimation of different professions’ height. The implications of these findings are discussed.
You can download the article for free here.
Mahmoud Rashidi, Katayoun Keshtkaran, Sahar Zabihidan, Masoud Hosseinchari, and Farid Pazhoohi (2012). Effect of Different Professions’ Clothing on Children’s Height Perception The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 15 (3) : http://dx.doi.org/10.5209/rev_SJOP.2012.v15.n3.39394
Thanks to the scientific investigations, now we know physical attractiveness would boost one’s social and sexual success. Attractive females would have more chances of being hired, and having attract/sustain men with more resources. It is hypothesized that female physical attractiveness is the signal for her fertility; i.e. men prefer attractive women because they are more fertile! But, the question is that if there is any relationship between women’s attractiveness and their reproductive success or if attractive women have more progeny.
It’s been an old question – at least for the evolutionary biologists and evolutionary psychologists – if the physical attractiveness would guaranty the reproductive success. Human ethologists at the University of Vienna have investigated the question and reported that the attractive women have more biological offspring than less attractive women. The sample was women who never used hormonal contraceptives.
This paper would be published in the upcoming issue of Evolution and Human Behavior.
Lena S. Pflüger, Elisabeth Oberzaucher, Stanislav Katina, Iris J. Holzleitner,, & Karl Grammer (2012). Cues to fertility: perceived attractiveness and facial shape predict reproductive success Evolution & Human Behavior DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2012.05.005