Sexual Misperception: She’s Just Not That into You
December 3rd, 2012
Academic Building A G008, 5:00 PM
Guys: ever feel really sure a girl is into you but when you pursue her she says she just wants to be friends? Ladies: ever feel shocked when a male friend suddenly tries to put the moves on you even though you never indicated you were interested? Well there may be good reason for this phenomenon called sexual misperception. Various theories attempt to explain sexual misperception, but I approach it from an evolutionary perspective. Through two studies I reveal interesting predictors of who misperceives interest from others, and who tends to be misperceived by others. One study utilized a speed-meeting procedure for access to a large sample of first impressions – and misperceptions. Another study focused on men’s misperception and whether it may be related to their testosterone levels. These very different methods both point to the conclusion that sexual misperception is not “just a male thing” but rather that certain men are more likely to exhibit this effect and that certain women are more likely to unknowingly elicit it.
Carin Perilloux did her graduate work at the University of Texas at Austin in David Buss’s lab. There she also had the opportunity to work with Dev Singh and Norm Li as she completed her doctorate in evolutionary psychology. After graduating, she taught at Williams College and is currently a visiting assistant professor at Union College. Her work focuses on two main areas: conflict between the sexes and physical attractiveness.
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