Creative Performance, Creative Partner Preference, and Creative Perception: A Test of Fisher's Runaway Sexual Selection Theory
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractPrior research suggests that creativity is a trait women find attractive in potential male romantic partners. This study applied Fisher's theory of runaway sexual selection to creativity. Fisher's theory predicts that when a trait with no apparent adaptive advantage is found sexually attractive, both prevalence of and preference for the trait should increase over evolutionary time. This study hypothesized that creative performance and creative partner preference would be correlated, as predicted by this theory. It was believed that perception of creativity would be necessary if individuals are to successfully identify it in partners, which would then allow for the runaway chain of events identified by Fisher to occur. Creative self-perception was hypothesized to correlate with the creative performance and creative partner preference as well. Study participants (198 heterosexual undergraduate females) were given measures of the three constructs of interest and general intelligence was also assessed. Results supported Fisher's runaway sexual selection theory and the hypothesized relationship between creative performance, creative partner preference, and creative self-perception. This study found that women high in creativity were also more likely to prefer that potential partners be higher in creativity and were also more likely to perceive themselves as creative. Previous findings that creative performance and intelligence are related were also supported. Implications of these findings and future research directions are discussed.
Degree ProgramHonors College