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An Investigation into the way men and women attract the opposite sex through personal advertisements.

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Introduction

Psychology Module 6 An Investigation into the way men and women attract the opposite sex through personal advertisements. By Harry Morgan Abstract For my study I aim to produce a similar investigation as carried out by Dunbar. He researched into the way that the different sexes attract each other through personal advertisements in American newspapers. I shall re-create this study however, using the local Macclesfield newspaper. After analysing the content I predict that my results shall suggest the same trend as Dunbar's results: Women advertise attractiveness and youth whereas men offer wealth and financial stability. Having carried out the experiment, I found that my results did follow Dunbar's results' trend. Men advertise their resources whereas women advertise looks and youth. I used a tally to record the data and then produced a Chi score in order to analyse my results. I found that Chi Squared - 12.484. The Critical value at p - 0.05 (one trailed) - 3.84. This means that the difference is significant at a 5% confidence level so I can accept both my null and directional hypothesis which was that "There will be no significant difference between how men and women advertise themselves to the opposite sex." Introduction Darwin's theory of evolution suggests that humans naturally select other suitable humans to mate with in order to preserve and continue the human race. This process of "natural selection" supposedly helps minimise disadvantageous mutations and accumulate minor advantageous mutations. ...read more.

Middle

We then went through the advertisements, using a tally chart, counting how many times the heterosexuals used these phrases or descriptions. There were no controlled variables in this study due to the content analysis design. This therefore decreases the accuracy of the study. However, it increases the ecological validity of the study. The uncontrolled variables are the personal descriptions of each person within their advertisement. We used the Macclesfield express so that it was a good representative sample of our local area within the North West; we used all the heterosexual advertisements presented in the Macclesfield express on Wednesday June 4th 2008. If people stated what they were looking for ("WLTM") and did not describe themselves then we simply disregarded their advertisement as they were not appealing to the opposite sex through their attributes: they were not following the aim of the experiment. This study could be repeated easily using different newspapers for a larger scale and a more varied set of results. Justification of Stats The data collected was nominal data, which led me to use the Chi squared test. Nominal data means that we are testing for frequencies of males and females offering looks and youth or resources, and therefore it is a test of difference (the difference between what males and females offer). The experiment is also independent measures as there are different subjects in each group (males and females). ...read more.

Conclusion

Also, men's magazines often contain content that will offer advice on becoming more successful, and therefore more attractive. Also, many adverts aimed at men signify status symbols and therefore support my findings. One explanation for my results may be because of an evolutionary effect; over time men have become more attracted to good looking women as they will be likely to successfully give birth to children and women have become more attracted to men offering resources as they will be more likely to provide for them and their offspring meaning a higher chance of survival. By doing this, healthy genes can be passed on through the generations and the race can continue to survive. This explanation is supported by Darwin's theory of evolution. However, men and women may be influenced by the media, peer pressure or other things that make them try and act or appear more attractive. There is a range of further research that could be carried out to gain a further insight into the nature of these findings. For example, the experiment could be repeated using homosexual ads, and see what resources homosexuals offer and compare those findings to these ones. I could also compare results with findings from samples of an older generation past breeding age so that the findings would be irrelevant to evolution. Additionally, a cross culture investigation would be an interesting investigation to be done. One could study how people in different cultures attract their partners and even compare between more economically developed and less economically developed countries. ...read more.

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