Mate choice  

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 +"'''Fisherian runaway''' or '''runaway selection''' is a [[sexual selection]] mechanism proposed by the mathematical biologist [[Ronald Fisher]] in the early 20th century, to account for the [[evolution]] of exaggerated [[Biological ornament|male ornamentation]] by persistent, directional [[mate choice|female choice]]. In most species, [[female]]s are the choosy sex which discriminates among [[competitive]] [[male]]s." --Sholem Stein
 +|}
{{Template}} {{Template}}
 +'''Mate choice''' is one of the primary mechanisms under which [[evolution]] can occur. Before an animal engages with a potential mate, they first evaluate various aspects of that mate which are indicative of quality—such as the resources or phenotypes they have—and evaluate whether or not those particular trait(s) are somehow beneficial to them. The evaluation will then incur a response of some sort.
-The '''Thematic Apperception Test''', or '''TAT''', is a [[Projective test|projective psychological test]]. Historically, it has been among the most widely researched, taught, and used of such tests. Its adherents assert that the TAT taps a subject's [[Unconscious mind|unconscious]] to reveal [[Psychological repression|repressed]] aspects of [[personality psychology|personality]], [[Motivation|motives]] and [[needs]] for [[Goal (management)|achievement]], [[Power (sociology)|power]] and [[intimacy]], and [[Problem solving|problem-solving]] abilities.+These mechanisms are a part of evolutionary change because they operate in a way that causes the qualities that are desired in a mate to be more frequently passed on to each generation over time. For example, if female peacocks desire mates who have a colourful plumage, then this trait will increase in frequency over time as male peacocks with a colourful plumage will have more [[reproductive success]]. Further investigation of this concept, has found that it is in fact the specific trait of blue and green colour near the eyespot that seems to increase the females likelihood of mating with a specific peacock.
-==Procedure==+Mate choice is one of two components of [[sexual selection]], the other being [[Sexual selection|intrasexual selection]]. Ideas on sexual selection were first introduced in 1871, by [[Charles Darwin]], then expanded on by [[Ronald Fisher]] in 1915. At present, there are five sub mechanisms that explain how mate choice has evolved over time. These are direct phenotypic benefits, sensory bias, the [[Fisherian runaway]] hypothesis, indicator traits and [[Genetics|genetic]] compatibility.
-The TAT is popularly known as the ''picture interpretation technique'' because it uses a standard series of provocative yet [[Ambiguity|ambiguous]] [[picture]]s about which the subject is asked to tell a [[narrative|story]]. The subject is asked to tell as dramatic a story as they can for each picture presented, including the following:+
-* what has led up to the event shown+In the majority of systems where mate choice exists, one sex tends to be competitive with their same-sex members and the other sex is choosy (meaning they are selective when it comes to picking individuals to mate with). There are direct and indirect benefits of being the selective individual. In most species, females are the choosy sex which discriminates among competitive males, but there are several examples of reversed roles (see below). It is preferable for an individual to choose a compatible mate of the same species, in order to maintain reproductive success. Other factors that can influence mate choice include [[Parasite-stress theory|pathogen stress]] and the [[Major histocompatibility complex and sexual selection|Major Histocompatibility Complex]] (MHC).
-* what is happening at the moment+
-* what the characters are feeling and thinking+
-* what the outcome of the story was+
-If these elements are omitted, particularly for children or individuals of low [[cognition|cognitive]] abilities, the evaluator may ask the subject about them directly.+== Origins and history ==
 +[[Charles Darwin]] first expressed his ideas on sexual selection and mate choice in his book ''[[The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex]]'' in 1871. He was perplexed by the elaborate ornamentation that males of some species have, because such features appeared to be detrimental to survival and to have negative consequences for reproductive success. Darwin proposed two explanations for the existence of such traits: these traits are useful in male-male combat or they are preferred by females. This article focuses on the latter. Darwin treated natural selection and sexual selection as two different topics, although in the 1930s biologists defined sexual selection as being a part of natural selection.
-The standard version of the test contains 20 picture cards. Some of the cards show male figures, some female, some both male and female figures, some of ambiguous gender, some adults, some children, and some show no human figures at all. One card is completely blank. Although the cards were originally designed to be matched to the subject in terms of age and gender, any card may be used with any subject. Most practitioners choose a set of between 8 and 12 selected+In 1915, [[Ronald Fisher]] wrote a paper on the evolution of female preference and [[secondary sexual characteristics]]. Fifteen years later, he expanded this theory in a book called ''[[The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection]]''. There he described a scenario where feedback between mate preference and a trait results in elaborate characters such as the long tail of the male peacock (see [[Fisherian runaway]]).
-cards, either using cards that they feel are generally useful, or that they believe will encourage the subject's expression of emotional conflicts relevant to their specific history and situation.+
-==Scoring Systems==+In 1948, using ''[[Drosophila]]'' as a model, [[Angus John Bateman]] presented experimental evidence that male [[reproductive success]] is limited by the number of mates obtained, while female reproductive success is limited by the number of pregnancies that she can have in her lifetime. Thus a female must be selective when choosing a mate because the quality of her offspring depends on it. Males must fight, in the form of intra-sexual competition, for the opportunity to mate because not all males will be chosen by females. This became known as [[Bateman's principle]], and although this was a major finding that added to the work of Darwin and Fisher, it was overlooked until [[George C. Williams (biologist)|George C. Williams]] emphasised its importance in the 1960s and 1970s.
-The TAT is a [[projective test]] in that, like the [[Rorschach test]], its assessment of the subject is based on what he or she [[Psychological projection|projects]] onto the images which can be interpreted as the subject chooses. Therefore, to complete the assessment, each narrative created by a subject must be carefully recorded and analyzed to uncover underlying [[need]]s, [[Attitude (psychology)|attitudes]], and patterns of reaction. Although most clinical practitioners do not use formal scoring systems, several formal scoring systems have been developed for analyzing TAT stories systematically and consistently. Two common methods that are currently used in research are the:+
-* Defense Mechanisms Manual DMM. This assesses three defense mechanisms: [[denial]] (least mature), [[Psychological projection|projection]] (intermediate), and [[Identification (psychodynamic)|identification]] (most mature). A person's thoughts/feelings are projected in stories involved.+In 1972, soon after Williams' revival of the subject, [[Robert L. Trivers]] presented his [[parental investment]] theory. Trivers defined parental investment as any investment made by the parent that benefits his or her current offspring at the cost of investment in future offspring. These investments include the costs of producing gametes as well as any other care or efforts that parents provide after birth or hatching. Reformulating Bateman's ideas, Trivers argued that the sex which exhibits less parental investment (not necessarily the male) will have to compete for mating opportunities with the sex that invests more. The differences in levels of parental investment create the condition that favours mating biases.
-* Social Cognition and Object Relations SCOR scale. This assesses four different dimensions of [[object relations]]: Complexity of Representations of People, Affect-Tone of Relationship Paradigms, Capacity for Emotional Investment in Relationships and Moral Standards, and Understanding of Social Causality.+== See also ==
- +*[[Extended female sexuality]]
-==History==+*[[Filter theory (sociology)]]
-TAT was developed by the American [[psychology|psychologist]] [[Henry A. Murray]] and [[Christiana D. Morgan]] at [[Harvard]] during the 1930s to explore the underlying dynamics of [[Personality psychology|personality]], such as internal [[Emotional conflict|conflict]]s, dominant drives, interests, and [[Motivation|motives]].+*[[Human male sexuality]]
- +*[[Human female sexuality]]
-Howard P Vincent was a noted scholar of [[Herman Melville]], the American author best known for his novel ''[[Moby-Dick]]''. According to Vincent, the TAT was inspired by the lesson implicit in ''Moby-Dick Chapter XCIX - THE DOUBLOON'': that morality is not what users think it may be. Vincent writes that the TAT+*[[Koinophilia]]
- +*[[Mate guarding in humans]]
-:: "... came into being when Dr. Henry A. Murray, psychologist and Melvillist, adapted the implicit lesson of Melville’s “Doubloon” chapter to a new and larger creative, therapeutic purpose.”+*[[Parental investment]]
- +*[[Psychological adaptation]]
-After [[World War II]], the TAT was adopted more broadly by [[Psychoanalysis|psychoanalysts]] and [[clinician]]s to evaluate emotionally disturbed [[patient]]s.+*[[Seduction]]
-An Indian adaptation was developed in 1960 by Mrs.Uma Choudhary.+*[[Sexual conflict]]
- +*[[Sexual selection]]
-Later, in the 1970s, the [[Human Potential Movement]] encouraged psychologists to use the TAT to help their clients understand themselves better and stimulate [[Personal development|personal growth]].+*[[The Evolution of Human Sexuality|The evolution of human sexuality]]
- +
-==Criticisms==+
-Declining adherence to the [[Sigmund Freud|Freudian]] principle of [[Psychological repression|repression]] on which the test is based has caused the TAT to be criticized as false or outdated by some professional [[psychologists]]{{Citation needed|date=January 2010}}. Their criticisms are that the TAT is unscientific because it cannot be proved to be [[Test validity|valid]] (that it actually measures what it claims to measure), or [[Reliability (statistics)|reliable]] (that it gives consistent results over time, due to the challenge of standardizing interpretations of the narratives provided by subjects).+
- +
-Some critics of the TAT cards have observed that the characters and environments are dated, even ‘old-fashioned,’ creating a ‘cultural or psycho-social distance’ between the patients and the stimuli that makes identifying with them less likely. Also, in researching the responses of subjects given photographs versus the TAT, researchers found that the TAT cards evoked more ‘deviant’ stories (i.e., more negative) than photographs, leading researchers to conclude that the difference was due to the differences in the characteristics of the images used as stimuli{{Citation needed|date=January 2010}}.+
- +
-In a 2005 dissertation, Matthew Narron, Psy.D. attempted to address these issues by reproducing a Leopold Bellak. 10 card set photographically and performing an outcome study. The results concluded that the old TAT elicited answers that included many more specific time references than the new TAT.+
- +
-==Contemporary applications of TAT==+
-Despite criticisms, the TAT remains widely used as a tool for [[research]] into areas of psychology such as [[dream]]s, [[Fantasy (psychology)|fantasies]], [[Mate choice|mate selection]] and what motivates people to choose their [[profession|occupation]]. Sometimes it is used in a psychiatric or psychological context to assess [[personality disorder]]s, [[Schizophrenia|thought disorders]], in [[Forensic psychology|forensic examinations]] to evaluate crime suspects, or to screen candidates for [[Stress (medicine)|high-stress]] occupations. It is also commonly used in routine psychological evaluations, typically without a formal scoring system, as a way to explore emotional conflicts and [[Object relations theory|object relations]].+
- +
-TAT is widely used in [[France]] and [[Argentina]] using a psychodynamic approach.+
- +
-The [[Israeli army]] uses the test for evaluating potential [[Officer (armed forces)|officers]].{{Citation needed|date=January 2010}}+
- +
-It is also used by the [[Services Selection Board]] of India.+
- +
-[[David McClelland]] and Ruth Jacobs conducted a 12 year longitudinal study of leadership using TAT and found no gender differences motivational predictors of attained management level. The content analysis, however, "revealed 2 distinct styles of power-related themes that distinguished the successful men from the successful women. The successful male managers were more likely to use reactive power themes while the successful female managers were more likely to use resourceful power themes. Differences between the sexes in the power themes were less pronounced among the managers who had remained in lower levels of management" +
- +
-==TAT in popular culture==+
-{{In popular culture|date=May 2011}}+
-* [[Thomas Harris]]' novel ''[[Red Dragon (novel)|Red Dragon]]'' includes a scene where the imprisoned psychiatrist and serial killer Dr. [[Hannibal Lecter]] mocks a previous attempt to administer the test to him.+
-* [[Michael Crichton]] included the TAT in the battery of tests given to the disturbed patient and main character Harry Benson in his novel, ''[[The Terminal Man]]''.+
-* In the novel [[Sphere]], the protagonist Norman Johnson, a psychologist himself, mentions the Thematic Apperception Test while in the underwater deep-sea habitat.+
-* In the MTV cartoon ''[[Daria]]'', Daria and her sister Quinn are given a test that appears to be the TAT by the school [[psychologist]] on their first day at their new school. Daria and Quinn are shown a picture of two people. Quinn makes up a story about the two people having a discussion about popularity and dating. Daria states that she sees "a herd of beautiful wild ponies running free across the plains." The psychologist tells her the picture is of two people, not ponies. Daria states, "last time I took one of these tests they told me they were clouds. They said they could be whatever I wanted." The psychologist explains, "That's a different test, dear. In this test, they're people and you tell me what they're discussing." To which Daria characteristically replies, "Oh... I see. All right, then. It's a guy and a girl and they're discussing... a herd of beautiful wild ponies running free across the plains." (Cf. the [[Rorschach test]] administered to Charlie Gordon in ''[[Flowers for Algernon]]'', during which Drs. Nemur and Strauss ask him what he "sees" on a card, he replies that he sees an inkblot, they ask him to pretend that it is something else, and he replies "I pretend a bottel of ink spilld all over a wite card [sic]".)+
-*The TAT is administered to Alex, the main character of ''[[A Clockwork Orange]]''.+
-* Charlie Gordon, the protagonist in [[Daniel Keyes]]'s ''[[Flowers for Algernon]]'', notes in his "progris riport 4" on March 6 that he was given a "Thematic Appercepton Test." As he says, "I dont know the frist 2 werds but I know what test means. You got to pass it or you get bad marks [sic]"+
-* Italian poet [[Edoardo Sanguineti]] wrote a collection of poetry called ''T.A.T'' (1966–1968) that refers to the Test.+
- +
-==See also==+
-* [[Psychological testing]]+
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Current revision

"Fisherian runaway or runaway selection is a sexual selection mechanism proposed by the mathematical biologist Ronald Fisher in the early 20th century, to account for the evolution of exaggerated male ornamentation by persistent, directional female choice. In most species, females are the choosy sex which discriminates among competitive males." --Sholem Stein

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Mate choice is one of the primary mechanisms under which evolution can occur. Before an animal engages with a potential mate, they first evaluate various aspects of that mate which are indicative of quality—such as the resources or phenotypes they have—and evaluate whether or not those particular trait(s) are somehow beneficial to them. The evaluation will then incur a response of some sort.

These mechanisms are a part of evolutionary change because they operate in a way that causes the qualities that are desired in a mate to be more frequently passed on to each generation over time. For example, if female peacocks desire mates who have a colourful plumage, then this trait will increase in frequency over time as male peacocks with a colourful plumage will have more reproductive success. Further investigation of this concept, has found that it is in fact the specific trait of blue and green colour near the eyespot that seems to increase the females likelihood of mating with a specific peacock.

Mate choice is one of two components of sexual selection, the other being intrasexual selection. Ideas on sexual selection were first introduced in 1871, by Charles Darwin, then expanded on by Ronald Fisher in 1915. At present, there are five sub mechanisms that explain how mate choice has evolved over time. These are direct phenotypic benefits, sensory bias, the Fisherian runaway hypothesis, indicator traits and genetic compatibility.

In the majority of systems where mate choice exists, one sex tends to be competitive with their same-sex members and the other sex is choosy (meaning they are selective when it comes to picking individuals to mate with). There are direct and indirect benefits of being the selective individual. In most species, females are the choosy sex which discriminates among competitive males, but there are several examples of reversed roles (see below). It is preferable for an individual to choose a compatible mate of the same species, in order to maintain reproductive success. Other factors that can influence mate choice include pathogen stress and the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC).

Origins and history

Charles Darwin first expressed his ideas on sexual selection and mate choice in his book The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex in 1871. He was perplexed by the elaborate ornamentation that males of some species have, because such features appeared to be detrimental to survival and to have negative consequences for reproductive success. Darwin proposed two explanations for the existence of such traits: these traits are useful in male-male combat or they are preferred by females. This article focuses on the latter. Darwin treated natural selection and sexual selection as two different topics, although in the 1930s biologists defined sexual selection as being a part of natural selection.

In 1915, Ronald Fisher wrote a paper on the evolution of female preference and secondary sexual characteristics. Fifteen years later, he expanded this theory in a book called The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection. There he described a scenario where feedback between mate preference and a trait results in elaborate characters such as the long tail of the male peacock (see Fisherian runaway).

In 1948, using Drosophila as a model, Angus John Bateman presented experimental evidence that male reproductive success is limited by the number of mates obtained, while female reproductive success is limited by the number of pregnancies that she can have in her lifetime. Thus a female must be selective when choosing a mate because the quality of her offspring depends on it. Males must fight, in the form of intra-sexual competition, for the opportunity to mate because not all males will be chosen by females. This became known as Bateman's principle, and although this was a major finding that added to the work of Darwin and Fisher, it was overlooked until George C. Williams emphasised its importance in the 1960s and 1970s.

In 1972, soon after Williams' revival of the subject, Robert L. Trivers presented his parental investment theory. Trivers defined parental investment as any investment made by the parent that benefits his or her current offspring at the cost of investment in future offspring. These investments include the costs of producing gametes as well as any other care or efforts that parents provide after birth or hatching. Reformulating Bateman's ideas, Trivers argued that the sex which exhibits less parental investment (not necessarily the male) will have to compete for mating opportunities with the sex that invests more. The differences in levels of parental investment create the condition that favours mating biases.

See also





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