Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

A test of Miller's aesthetic fitness hypothesis

Clegg, H., Nettle, D. and Miell, D. (2008) A test of Miller's aesthetic fitness hypothesis. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology. 6(2), pp. 101-115.

Item Type: Article
Abstract: Miller has argued that artworks act as fitness indicators in mate choice. However, there has been little empirical work to support or refute this assertion. This study aims to rectify this and in so doing to develop a novel method to consider whether observers of art are able to accurately assess the qualities of the artist and to use these judgements in mate choice. Fifty-one females rated six males on creativity, intelligence, attractiveness, dexterity and personality through assessment of experimental artworks they had produced. They then indicated which of the artists they would most like to go out on a date with and why. Results provided some support for the aesthetic fitness hypothesis and highlighted possible improvements to the method which has the potential to be an effective way in which to evaluate potential fitness indicators in mate choice
Uncontrolled Keywords: Aesthetic indicator hypothesis, sexual selection, fitness indicator, artist, artwork, creativity, personality, mate choice
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF698 Personality > BF698.95 Evolutionary psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BH Aesthetics
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) > N7560 Special subjects of art
Creators: Clegg, Helen, Nettle, Daniel and Miell, Dorothy
Funders or Sponsors: The Open University
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Faculty of Health & Society > Psychology
University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Research Group > Social and Cultural Research in Psychology Group
Faculties > Faculty of Health & Society > Psychology
Research Centres > Centre for Psychology and Social Sciences
Date: 2008
Date Type: Publication
Page Range: pp. 101-115
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Evolutionary Psychology
Volume: 6
Number: 2
Language: English
Status: Published / Disseminated
Refereed: Yes

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