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      Status and Mating Success Amongst Visual Artists

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          Abstract

          Geoffrey Miller has hypothesized that producing artwork functions as a mating display. Here we investigate the relationship between mating success and artistic success in a sample of 236 visual artists. Initially, we derived a measure of artistic success that covered a broad range of artistic behaviors and beliefs. As predicted by Miller’s evolutionary theory, more successful male artists had more sexual partners than less successful artists but this did not hold for female artists. Also, male artists with greater artistic success had a mating strategy based on longer term relationships. Overall the results provide partial support for the sexual selection hypothesis for the function of visual art.

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          Most cited references9

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          Creative productivity: A predictive and explanatory model of career trajectories and landmarks.

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            Age and outstanding achievement: what do we know after a century of research?

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              Peacocks, Picasso, and parental investment: The effects of romantic motives on creativity.

              Four experiments explored the effects of mating motivation on creativity. Even without other incentives to be creative, romantic motives enhanced creativity on subjective and objective measures. For men, any cue designed to activate a short-term or a long-term mating goal increased creative displays; however, women displayed more creativity only when primed to attract a high-quality long-term mate. These creative boosts were unrelated to increased effort on creative tasks or to changes in mood or arousal. Furthermore, results were unaffected by the application of monetary incentives for creativity. These findings align with the view that creative displays in both sexes may be linked to sexual selection, qualified by unique exigencies of human parental investment. Copyright 2006 APA, all rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Front Psychol
                Front. Psychology
                Frontiers in Psychology
                Frontiers Research Foundation
                1664-1078
                26 July 2011
                31 October 2011
                2011
                : 2
                Affiliations
                [1] 1simpleDivision of Psychology, The University of Northampton Northampton, UK
                [2] 2simpleCentre for Behaviour and Evolution, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University Newcastle, UK
                [3] 3simpleCollege of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Edinburgh Edinburgh, UK
                Author notes

                Edited by: Simine Vazire, Washington University in St. Louis, USA

                Reviewed by: Geoffrey Miller, University of New Mexico, USA; Elisabeth Oberzaucher, University of Vienna, Austria

                *Correspondence: Helen Clegg, Division of Psychology, The University of Northampton, Park Campus, Boughton Green Road, Northampton NN2 7AL, UK. e-mail: helen.clegg@ 123456northampton.ac.uk

                This article was submitted to Frontiers in Personality Science and Individual Differences, a specialty of Frontiers in Psychology.

                Article
                10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00310
                3204576
                22059085
                31817307-a057-4420-9931-b0e8b91b6a9a
                Copyright © 2011 Clegg, Nettle and Miell.

                This is an open-access article subject to a non-exclusive license between the authors and Frontiers Media SA, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and other Frontiers conditions are complied with.

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 15, Pages: 4, Words: 3661
                Categories
                Psychology
                Original Research

                Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry
                creativity,status,mating success,artist,evolutionary psychology
                Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry
                creativity, status, mating success, artist, evolutionary psychology

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