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A test of Miller's aesthetic fitness hypothesis

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Daniel Nettle


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Miller has argued that artworks act as fitness indicators in mate choice. However, there has been little empirical work to support or refute this assertion. This study aims to rectify this and in so doing to develop a novel method to consider whether observers of art are able to accurately assess the qualities of the artist and to use these judgements in mate choice. Fifty-one females rated six males on creativity, intelligence, attractiveness, dexterity and personality through assessment of experimental artworks they had produced. They then indicated which of the artists they would most like to go out on a date with and why. Results provided some support for the aesthetic fitness hypothesis and highlighted possible improvements to the method which has the potential to be an effective way in which to evaluate potential fitness indicators in mate choice. © 2008 Akadémiai Kiadó.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Clegg H, Nettle D, Miell D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Evolutionary Psychology

Year: 2008

Volume: 6

Issue: 2

Pages: 101-115

ISSN (print): 1789-2082

ISSN (electronic): 1589-7397

Publisher: Akademiai Kiado Rt.


DOI: 10.1556/JEP.2008.1009


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