- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (January 30, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195396855
- ISBN-13: 978-0195396850
- Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.1 x 6.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,114,325 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mating Intelligence Unleashed: The Role of the Mind in Sex, Dating, and Love 1st Edition
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"Like a peer-reviewed version of 'The Game', this geeky treatise mines evolutionary and experimental psychology to help readers 'succeed in their own mating-relevant goals.'" The authors' broad test of 'mating intelligence,' originally devised as a magazine quiz, measures both desirable traits like creativity and kindness, and relationship skills like empathy, lie-detection... and even a bit of deception." -- New York Times Science Times
"A lively, copiously researched treatise" -- Nature
"Mating Intelligence Unleashed: The Role of the Mind in Sex, Dating, and Love, by psychologists Glenn Geher and Scott Barry Kaufman, is a compendium of cutting-edge research into what makes people tick, romantically and sexually." -- NY Post
"Recommended to readers interested in evolutionary psychology and human sexuality." -- Library Journal
About the Author
Glenn Geher is Chair of the Psychology and Director of Evolutionary Studies at SUNY New Paltz, where he won the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Geher founded the NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society (NEEPS) and is co-founder of the international Evolutionary Studies (EvoS) Consortium, funded by the National Science Foundation. He is particularly interested in how evolution can help us understand all facets of the human animal and his many publications help us move toward this goal. His work has been featured in many media outlets--ranging from Psychology Today to Cosmopolitan to the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Scott Barry Kaufman is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology at New York University and co-founder of The Creativity Post. An award-winning authority on intelligence, creativity, and the arts, he is co-editor of The Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence with Robert J. Sternberg and The Psychology of Creative Writing with James C. Kaufman. His work has been covered in media outlets such as Psychology Today, Scientific American Mind and Men's Health. Additionally, he blogs for Psychology Today, Huffington Post, Scientific American, and Harvard Business Review.
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Provides a well researched foundation in the human physiological, mental and emotional trait clusters condusive to mating success in their respective environments. It also puts to rest the idea that you must be a conventionally attractive man/woman to succeed in the dating world. Other traits (competence , creativity, prestige etc..) can be developed to compensate for limited looks. From personal experience, I don't agree with the idea a man cannot succeed in short term mating unless they have all the markers for good genes (tall, symmetry, wide shoulders, square jaw etc..). I only gave four stars because I believe the book should have provided more detailed explanation on how somebody could raise there attractiveness. Excellent book!!!
Having said that, I think this book is absolutely brilliant and definitely worth a read, to a broad range of readers. It is well written and a light and fun read. Nevertheless, it will put a lot of different things into perspective and very probably teach the reader a lot of interesting stuff. I learned quite a lot of new, interesting results.
So why do I like this book?
1) Mating intelligence is a fundamental concept that has not yet gotten the attention it deserves.
The authors do a great job of defining and presenting the concept, showing the reasons behind peoples actions, and how mating intelligence -- or lack of it -- impacts many aspects of people's life. Reading this book could make some people see their own lives in a totally different light. If this book was widely read, we could even see a general improvement on society, along the lines the authors themselves suggest.
2) They backup their ideas on Mating Intelligence with an exhaustive, unbiased literature review on many fields.
Despite disagreeing with the authors in a few points, I read the book in a very positive and curious mood, because the authors were not pushing their ideas. That is really, really hard to achieve in writing a book. Kudos.
Also, their literature review was really exhaustive and well done. There are years of paper-reading in many different topics condensed in this book, including papers on this field, adjacent fields, general culture, etc. This book is the condensed scientific knowledge of today on this topic, told in a well structured manner that it is easy, interesting and very fun to read.
What don't I like about this book?
1) The book suffers from the quality of the published research on the topic.
First of all, the scientific approach has its own limitations (read the 2-page long paper: "Can a biologist fix a radio?--Or, what I learned while studying apoptosis", in Cancer Cell, to understand why). Scientists try to isolate a few traits, make an experiment, quantify something and then believe they understood that something. That part of the puzzle is understood and they move on to other traits. The idea goes that , if you do this for many traits and assemble the puzzle, you will succeed. Unfortunately, it does not work like that. By isolating the parts you fail to understand them. It is like that in Biology and 10x more in Psychology.
Besides this structural problem, in my view, research in Psychology is based on some questionable assumptions and not so robust methodologies, so some of the conclusions here should be taken with a grain of salt. An example is how the authors mention a large and surprisingly heterogeneous group of "narcissistic personalities", a "personality" that is correlated with higher intelligence and abilities and charisma, which are some of the traits the authors mention in the beginning of the book as desirable for mating success and that everyone should be interested in pursuing. This should make them question whether it is really the personality that leads to superior abilities(!), or rather, that people who experience success due to their superior skills develop adaptive behaviors that researchers perceive as narcissistic or detrimental, assuming that everyone should be the same and be content in having their lot. Their "external reference" is then how third parties perceive the subjects, ignoring the component of jealousy and social competition. Also, the whole concept of Nice Guys vs Jerks seems wrongly formulated to me. Basically, I think the authors don't try to understand what women look for in sex, and underestimate the effect this has on their choice of partners. That makes them take some wrong turns in their logic.
But these are details. Overall, I think this book is a great piece of work from both the scientific and literary perspectives and a great contribution to society at large.
But that is not that relevant.
What is relevant is that the book is a great read that will make you reconsider a lot of important things about life.
Few books can do that!