Thursday, November 10, 2011

This never happened to Pablo Picasso

Breaking research news!
Status and mating success amongst visual artists

ABSTRACT: Geoffrey Miller has hypothesized that producing artwork functions as a mating display. Here we investigate the relationship between mating success and artistic success in a sample of 236 visual artists. Initially, we derived a measure of artistic success that covered a broad range of artistic behaviours and beliefs. As predicted by Miller’s evolutionary theory, more successful male artists had more sexual partners than less successful artists but this did not hold for female artists. Also, male artists with greater artistic success had a mating strategy based on longer term relationships. Overall the results provide partial support for the sexual selection hypothesis for the function of visual art.

It follows as a logical corollary that subjects with a high proportion of creative artists among their ancestors have a better chance of being born than otherwise-matched subjects with fewer artistic forebears. I propose to test this hypothesis by asking the Library Pixies to bring all the available biographies and pedigrees for people who weren't born, for a comparison with those who were.

This shouldn't take long.

14 comments:

Another Kiwi said...

I'm not sure that the picture you have here is justified. The "Rincewind goes to Church to Read" book was not the most popular title in the series.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Also.

(For the visually challenged.)
~

Anonymous said...

Wow, what utter BS. To Geoffrey Miller: you need AK to teach you about the evils of advertising! Sex sells, you idiot, or - aha - you sly bastard!

"In 2007, Miller (with Joshua Tybur and Brent Jordan) published an article in Evolution and Human Behavior, demonstrating that lap dancers made more money during ovulation.[6] For this paper, Miller won the 2008 Ig Nobel Award.[7]." -do they mean ignoble?

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Geoffrey Miller has hypothesized that producing artwork functions as a mating display.

This puts an entirely different spin on Picasso's blue period.

Smut Clyde said...

male artists with greater artistic success had a mating strategy based on longer term relationships.

Not sure if Picasso received this memo.

fish said...

I have never heard of a period being described as blue.

El Manquécito said...

The blue ain't nothin' but a good (wo)man feelin' bad.

Anonymous said...

Hear, Hear! On my CASSETTE it says Ms. White is accompanying herself on keys... utoob commenters mistaken.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMwoZHJA

vacuumslayer said...

I call it "presenting."

wiley said...

Hmmm. I'm a female artist with a long line of men behind me and I'm childless, save for the surrogate daughter. I guess the word "successful" is operative here. Does dancing count as an artful display that leads to mating type behavior, a.k.a. "fucking your brains out"? Or could it be the openness---like being happy to babysit for one of your boyfriends' other girlfriends sose the single mom can have a night out?

Being a surrogate mother and general parenting assistant is t-totally underrated in the game of keeping the human race alive. For some reason, a lot of people want to treat that as some kind of failure, or Freudian type attempt at compensation. Do these people not study our cousins the monkeys? They should, because there are a lot of clues in the monkey monkeysphere about what makes us social animals tick.

Smut Clyde said...

Must confess that I was too taken with the prospect of a cheap laugh to actually read the paper, so I have no idea what errors the authors may have made, or whether "creative spelling" counts as a form of artistic expression that might increase one's number of mates.

Unaccountably, there is no Riddled tag for "Evo Psych Nimrods". Earlier posts on similar lines are probably tagged as "Science" or "Wonders of science" or "needs slapping".

I call it "presenting."

I would call it 'lordosis', but everyone thinks that's a variety of cheese.

fish said...

Do these people not study our cousins the monkeys?

Smut does. Or wears a monkey suit. I forget which one.

vacuumslayer said...

Must confess that I was too taken with the prospect of a cheap laugh to actually read the paper, so I have no idea what errors the authors may have made, or whether "creative spelling" counts as a form of artistic expression that might increase one's number of mates.

I used to think men only wanted me for my wit and awesome conversation, but it turns out it was just my kreativ spilleng.

El Manquécito said...

Being a surrogate mother and general parenting assistant is t-totally underrated in the game of keeping the human race alive.

It's pretty widely studied in primates and, recently, ospreys. Think of yourself as a particularly advanced osprey.