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Sex, Murder and the Meaning of Life

Douglas Kenrick

When men tested after looking at Playboy centrefolds, rated their own GF's as being less attractive. Other women's beauty undermines their commitment to their partners. Women didn't have this effect after looking at handsome men, but they did after seeing profiles of higher status men.

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For men on the market, violence is an expensive and dangerous route to respect. It's only when other paths to status are blocked that they resort to aggression. Rich men, even ones with high testosterone levels, do not usually engage in fist fights. They can win more respect by making clever investments or perfecting their golf swing. And, men don't use violence to show off to women (they are more likely to behave better around them), they become aggressive when in company of other men.

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Picasso produced 147,000 works of art during his long life, more than any other artist in history. And he didn't just churn out the same sort of painting over and over, he kept reinventing himself, with different styles - his Blue Period, his Rose Period, his Cubist Period and his Surrealist Period. And art historians noticed that each new creative period was accompanied by a new mistress.

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Recent efforts by scientists to study the psychology of religion spurred by two factors. Religious beliefs underly the seemingly endless conflicts in Middle East and India/Pakistan. And Creationists demanding that their religious beliefs be incorporated into school science curriculums.

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Current explanations of evolution of religion based on our beliefs of causation - somebody/thing must be responsible for the drought/accident whatever - and on the social cohesive benefits of fitting in with the tribe.

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