Posted in Blog Archive

Posted by abeodbart July 31, 2010 at 8:53 am

“Researchers reporting in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin last week say people are drawn to others who resemble their parents or themselves. This may explain why incest taboos are found in many cultures – to counter a natural tendency.

University of Illinois psychologist, Chris Fraley, said there had been a century-long debate on whether incest taboos are psychological or cultural adaptations designed to suppress a biological urge. In the early 20th century Sigmund Freud, a psychoanalyst, proposed it was psychological, while Edward Westermarck, a sociologist, proposed it was cultural. Westermarck thought there was a critical time in childhood during which people would not find attractive people who were raising them or raised with them.

Most modern researchers think Westermarck was correct, but a new study led by Fraley suggests there may also be a psychological component in which we align ourselves with our kin, who are genetically close to us.

The research involved three experiments. In the first, volunteers were shown pictures of strangers’ faces and asked to rate them on sexual attractiveness. They were unaware that they were also being shown photographs just before the strangers’ faces, and these were flashed so quickly they could only be processed subliminally. Half the volunteers were flashed a picture of their opposite gender parent, while the remaining subjects were flashed a picture of an unrelated person.

The results of this experiment were that those who were exposed to a picture of their parent generally found the stranger’s face more sexually attractive than those who were shown the photo of an unrelated person.”

Read more at Physorg

July 31, 2010 at 9:02 am
Radu C says:

I thought they made a face comparison, but what they really found out is that parental approval has an influence. If dad likes my girl, I feel more confident than if he doesn’t like her. The natural tendency here is to get along with the people you know, to not cause unnecessary trouble. Do the test with someone who hates their parents. See the results then. Get a picture of Megan Fox and flash the alcoholic father just before it. I think the subject find Megan Fox repulsive :) Try the reverse too, with a not so pretty chick, but flash the caring mother of the subject instead.

July 31, 2010 at 1:59 pm
roz says:

i guess this is news to some people…& prolly unwelcome to those of us who cant stand our parents! :D

sooo…when are they gonna do this study with the SAME gender parent? ;?

August 1, 2010 at 7:07 pm
Thomas says:

it’s like “here kitty kitty kitty”
they associate happiness and pleasure with people they are familiar to
the kitty always comes back for food.

August 14, 2010 at 2:36 am
Young One says:

I agree with Roz – I can’t stand my father, so I’d be mortified if I was involved in the test


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