Giving makes you attractive

Altruism in humans is difficult to explain from the traditional theory in which the focus is on competition between humans for partners, space and food. Neuroscientific research now shows that altruistic behaviour makes you more attractive to the other sex.

Displays of altruism or selflessness towards others can be sexually attractive in a mate. This is one of the findings of a study carried out by biologists and a psychologist at The University of Nottingham. In three studies of more than 1,000 people, Dr Tim Phillips and his fellow researchers discovered that women place significantly greater importance on altruistic traits than anything else. Their findings have been published in the British Journal of Psychology. [From Science Daily - Being Altruistic May Make You Attractive.]

The effect was more pronounced in women evaluating men, but men also exhibited an interest in altruistic behavior.

Dr Phillips said: “For many years the standard explanation for altruistic behaviour towards non-relatives has been based on reciprocity and reputation — a version of ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’. I believe we need to look elsewhere to understand the roots of human altruism. The expansion of the human brain would have greatly increased the cost of raising children so it would have been important for our ancestors to choose mates both willing and able to be good, long-term parents. Displays of altruism could well have provided accurate clues to this and genes linked to altruism would have been favoured as a result.”

Future Vision by Erwin Van Lun on this article

In the world of 2050 in which there is peace and prosperity for everyone, in a completely transparent world in which power is divided more or less equally and in which physical labour is done completely by robots, owning something no longer gives you status, but what you give to others does. That’s an important part of Pamper Planet. This research is the scientific building block for this trend.

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