In the years following its release, the Community has rapidly garnered mainstream media attention and subsequently grown into a multi-million dollar industry. Interestingly, many of its most prominent authorities claim to use insights and information gleaned through empirical research in evolutionary psychology. Although first formally articulated by Markovik in his written work entitled The Mystery Method: How to Get Beautiful Women into Bed , this basic structure of courtship has now been endorsed and advocated by a steadily growing majority of the Community worldwide.
However, despite the growing success of this industry, few psychologists and social scientists have taken a critical look as to whether or not the various concepts and teachings promoted by this Community can be substantiated by empirical psychological research. Although the Community has now expanded considerably into various different methods and schools of thought, we have selectively focused here on what we believe to be the most important and nearly-universal concepts within the industry.
Community Literature on Human Courtship Strategies For the present analysis, we examined several popular works from the Community. The Community consists broadly of heterosexual men who market various tactics, techniques, and methods to meet, date, and ultimately seduce women.
Both published books and online forums offer opportunities to garner and share this information with a wide audience of people interested in improving their dating and romantic success. Two main texts were chosen for this analysis. The first text, entitled The Mystery Method: How to Get Beautiful Women into Bed Markovik, , is widely regarded as one of the most important works in the Community.
Both authors have appeared on several cable television programs and interviews. Markovik gained increased public eminence after the cable television station VH1 aired the program The Pickup Artist, starring himself, intended to showcase his methods to a worldwide audience. In the preface to the text, Markovik , p.
Elsewhere in the text, Markovik , p. As a consequence, women very rarely accept propositions for casual sex with strangers Voracek, Hofhansl and Fisher, , typically imposing a much more careful and rigorous screening process before consenting to sexual activity Grammer, ; Pawlowski and Dunbar, ; Pawlowski and Dunbar, On the other hand, human males as the biologically less investing sex, often have little to lose by mating with as many females as possible Buss and Schmitt, Indeed, Schmitt et al.
In the absence of a clear understanding of the biological bases of such differences, the courtship process and ensuing relationship dynamics can often appear confusing, frustrating and even debilitating. However, as we will argue, this conflict is not inevitable.
The knowledge of our evolved sexual strategies gives us significant capability to improve interactions between the sexes by choosing appropriate actions and deactivating others — ultimately reducing conflict between men and women.
In this respect, we argue that when properly and ethically understood, the dating and seduction industry, despite its provocative label and origins outside of academia, is founded on solid empirical research as well as first-hand courtship and relationship experience. Ultimately, it is our suggestion that an informed appraisal of this information will ultimately help to lessen conflict and improve dating and relationships between men and women.
The Three Phases of Human Courtship: Attraction, Comfort and Trust, and Seduction The first reputed phase of human courtship, Attraction, is primarily concerned with creating opportunities to exploit evolved cues for what women generally find attractive in men.
The Community generally concurs with this definition, while further dividing the beginning courtship stage of Attraction into two different types of conversational starters with an unacquainted romantic interest: For instance, a typical example of this type of opener might be: Hi, I saw you standing there, thought you looked attractive, and wanted to say hello. While apparently awkward or unimpressive to the inexperienced, many Community enthusiasts will swear by the ability of this approach to generate instant attraction in a prospective romantic interest.
And indeed, there may in fact be psychological research to legitimate this claim. For instance, research has shown that expressions of social dominance Sadalla et al. The second type of conversation starter, referred to as an indirect conversational opener, often begins with an off-handed opinion or question, at first merely designed to capture attention. For example, indirect openers often include apparently random queries such as, Excuse me- a friend and I were debating something.
Could I have a female opinion on how a man should treat a lady on a first date? Markovik, ; Strauss, In stark contrast to a direct opener, the specific content of an indirect opener is often irrelevant; the more important objective is often to smoothly get a conversation started. However, once a conversation is underway, enthusiasts of indirect openers will often casually move into more intentional conversational material specifically designed to display attractive cues to a prospective romantic interest.
For instance, the conversational content at this point generally moves into interesting personality conveying material, such as humor, an exciting personal anecdote, a fun game, or even a simple piece of stage magic, intended to solicit attraction from a prospective romantic interest Markovik, ; Strauss, And indeed, psychological research has shown that many of these qualities, when well-presented, can often be quite attractive to the opposite sex.
For example, in a recent sample of UK personal advertisements, women rated charming social skills, wittiness, and a good sense of humor as among the most desirable traits in a prospective date Pawlowski and Dunbar, ; Pawlowski and Dunbar, , which would seem to reinforce the claims made by the community Markovik, ; Strauss, Numerous studies have demonstrated the importance of humor in mate selection Regan and Joshi, , Bressler and Balshine, ; Bressler et al.
Humor has been further argued to be an honest signal of other cognitive abilities, such as intelligence Howrigan and MacDonald, and therefore an indicator of higher mate value Greengross and Miller, ; Kaufman, Kozbelt, Bromley, and Miller, Psychological research has supported the importance of advertising other aspects of personality toward mate attraction. For example, in a study of 37 cultures around the world, Buss and his collaborators found qualities such as having an exciting personality, intelligence, adaptability, and creativity as among the top ten most desirable traits for both men and women.
Pre- selection is a strategy whereby a man in a public gathering will establish an innocent The dating mind Evolutionary Psychology — ISSN — Volume 10 5. The phenomenon where females will copy or imitate the preferences of other females for a particular male mate has been documented in a wide variety of species, and is commonly referred to by evolutionary biologists as mate choice copying Bennett, Lim and Gilbert, ; Dugatkin, ; Freed-Brown and White, Moreover, there is now increasing evidence to suggest that such strategies, whether intentionally practiced or consistently understood by those using them, are also found in humans Eva and Wood, ; Hill and Buss, ; Place, Todd, Penke and Asendorpf, For instance, Place et al.
Comfort and Trust The second reputed phase of human courtship, building mutual Comfort and Trust, further seems to have a significant degree of support by various psychological research studies. Firstly, once Attraction has been established, community literature advocates the importance of taking the time to build rapport, comfort and trust before proceeding with seduction Markovik, ; Strauss, Indeed, psychological research has shown that many particular moral virtues are not only sexually attractive, but also relationship- stabilizing see Miller , for a review.
For example, many studies have demonstrated the importance of honesty, niceness, agreeableness and nonviolence Boon and McLeod, ; Haselton, Buss, Oubaid, and Angleitner, ; Botwin et al.
Still further, as an acquaintanceship develops, empathy, fondness, forgivingness, trust, perspective- taking, and kindness Kilpatrick, Bissonnette, and Rusbult, ; Fincham, Beach, and Davila, , , defined as emotional responsiveness to the needs of others Jensen- Campbell, Graziano, and West, ; Li, Kenrick, Bailey, and Linsenmeier, , have been shown to be critical for both establishing and maintaining an intimate relationship.
Moreover, many community enthusiasts will practice and encourage the use of touch throughout the courtship process, evidently aware of its critical role in courtship and seduction Markovik, ; Strauss, Touch has been found to be a diverse, adaptable and nontrivial modality, in that it can consistently The dating mind Evolutionary Psychology — ISSN — Volume 10 5.
The role of touch has also been argued to have an adaptive function in bonding, both in human and non-human primates, involving complex psychopharmacological chemicals including oxytocin, endorphins, dopamine, and various other neuropeptides Dunbar, Moreover, recent research has documented the ability of touch and bodily affection to increase feelings of trust and comfort, in that increased oxytocin levels and decreased blood pressure are often found among couples with more frequent hugging Light, Grewen, and Amico, Indeed, the hormone oxytocin has been shown to promote pro-social feelings of bonding and trust Huber, Veinante, and Stoop, ; Kosfeld et al.
Seduction The final reputed phase of human courtship, Seduction, begins once mutual Attraction and.