Men behaving nicely: Public goods as peacock tail

Journal article


Van Vugt, M. and Iredale, W. 2013. Men behaving nicely: Public goods as peacock tail. British Journal of Psychology. 104 (1), pp. 3-13. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8295.2011.02093.x
AuthorsVan Vugt, M. and Iredale, W.
Abstract

Insights from sexual selection and costly signalling theory suggest that competition for females underlies men's public good contributions. We conducted two public good experiments to test this hypothesis. First, we found that men contributed more in the presence of an opposite sex audience, but there was no parallel effect for the women. In addition, men's public good contributions went up as they rated the female observer more attractive. In the second experiment, all male groups played a five round public good game and their contributions significantly increased over time with a female audience only. In this condition men also volunteered more time for various charitable causes. These findings support the idea that men compete with each other by creating public goods to impress women. Thus, a public good is the human equivalent of a peacock's tail.

Year2013
JournalBritish Journal of Psychology
Journal citation104 (1), pp. 3-13
PublisherThe British Psychological Society
ISSN0007-1269
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8295.2011.02093.x
Publication dates
Online15 Jan 2013
Publication process dates
Deposited05 Jan 2018
Output statusPublished
ISBN10.1111/j.2044-8295.2011.02093.x
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/88792/men-behaving-nicely-public-goods-as-peacock-tail

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