"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

"I think that God in creating Man somewhat overestimated his ability." - Oscar Wilde

***

Courtesy of MFM:

Psychology Today: Love's Loopy Logic

"A date makes us both spectator and performer at a two-ring circus: We troll for wit, kindness, curiosity, and "chemistry," hoping that we radiate these same attributes in the right amounts. From strategic winks and blinks to elaborate grooming to gifts of gorgeous baubles, men and women employ an arsenal of tricks in their romantic lives, all in the service of a demanding master at the far reaches of conscious awareness. Eons of evolution have honed our behavior to aid and abet a reproductive payoff. The sum of the stratagems we employ, and the wisdom of nature in crafting them without our explicit awareness, are now the subject of intense study by evolutionary psychologists...

Women, for their part, are biased right back. They skittishly insist that men are more keen on no-strings-attached sex than is the case. This "men are pigs" bias pits suspicious women against oversolicitous men in what Geoffrey Miller, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of New Mexico, labels a "never-ending arms race of romantic skepticism and excess."...

Glenn Geher, an associate professor of psychology at SUNY at New Paltz, who, with Miller, edited a forthcoming volume on mating intelligence, is developing a mathematical model to demonstrate what many a grandmother has long cautioned: Women who are de facto skeptical of a man's intentions are almost always better off than women who spend hours deconstructing the first date. ("He gave me his home number, he asked about my family, he mentioned a concert this spring—he must be into me!") Geher found that if a woman cannot accurately judge a man's romantic designs at least 90 percent of the time, she's better off being biased. "Women using a 'men are always pigs' decision-making rule may be more likely to actually end up with honest, committed, and long-term-seeking males," insists Geher...

Men are excellent judges of what women want in a long-term partner, exhibiting keen mind reading abilities on limited display in other areas of their lives. A guy who is clueless about his friends' opinions of him and oblivious to his wife's sulking can still craft a potent profile on Match.com...

Faby Gagné, a research consultant and visiting scholar at Wellesley College, found that 95 percent of people think their paramour is above average in appearance, intelligence, warmth, and sense of humor. There's deep wisdom in these sunny views: People who believe they've struck romantic gold are more satisfied with their relationship and more committed to their mate.

Romantic illusions are so critical that they may actually balloon during key decision-making phases of a relationship, such as whether to get married, or when to have children. That's because, says Gagné, biases can buffer us against the angst of dicey deliberations...

Self-deception softens the conjugally unpalatable and pushes the envelope on what constitutes an intelligent strategy. When it comes to defending a relationship to ourselves, we're like lawyers who routinely manipulate—but outright lie when the need arises...

Self-deception is an equal opportunity bias. It's a core feature of mating intelligence both for males and females. But women display more self-serving beliefs about their own behavior in relationships. When Maureen O'Sullivan, a professor of psychology at the University of San Francisco, queried college students about their lies to the opposite sex, she found that women assert that they themselves lie less than do other women. Men have no corresponding illusions about their mendacity relative to other guys. O'Sullivan sees the gap between women's self-reported lies versus their beliefs about other women's lies as evidence of internal sophistry. Self-deception makes sense for a woman who needs male resources, even if the guy himself isn't optimally committed. "Women have to put more of their central processing units into maintaining a relationship," says O'Sullivan. "It's easier to do that emotional work if you have a certain amount of self-deception." For some women, the skepticism that comes so naturally during courtship switches off once a commitment's been made, and they may overestimate a man's investment in the relationship or the odds that he's being faithful.

Battered women may be an extreme example of self-deception, points out O'Sullivan. Women who remain convinced of an abusive partner's devotion are arguably lying to themselves with an intensity that can appear delusional. But such women may be acting on a runaway impulse to ignore objectionable male behavior, an impulse that in effect prevents them from leaving when it's clearly to their advantage...

Peer judgments may be supremely influential in today's world. Traditionally, teens mixed more with adults and extended family, so they received feedback on their mate value from their clan as much as from their clique. But today teens are schooled and socialized in lockstep, creating an unprecedented separation from adults that Miller argues may warp accurate self-appraisal. A 17-year-old girl, he contends, compares herself mercilessly to her equally nubile peers; she doesn't mingle with adults enough to realize that she and her friends are all in the top-10 percent of women, reproductively speaking. "Forty years ago," says Miller, "a girl might have entered the workforce at age 18 and gotten a lot of attention in the office relative to the 28-year old 'spinster.' " Today, she'll enter college, still socializing and competing with a gaggle of equally young, pretty girls...

Glenn Geher argues that health class would do well to teach the rudiments of opposite-sex mind reading and mate preferences, not just opposite-sex plumbing. Miller agrees: "It would help enormously if boys were told, 'your sense of humor and ability to be interesting matter.' It would help if girls heard, 'No, you don't have to be ultrathin. If you're best friends with a guy, he might make a good boyfriend.' There's so much misunderstanding between the sexes, and adults seem unwilling to take a stand."...

Highly creative men are more attractive—Nettle's colleague Helen Clegg found that artists who amassed the most gallery exhibitions also racked up the most sexual partners"


I tried to find O'Sullivan's original paper on the emphasised bit, but couldn't, so I will take it as supporting my contention that women lie to themselves (ie they lie without knowing they're lying).

Great, to think that only last week I found evidence that women are more risk-averse (the corollary of which is that they're more paranoid)!
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