Evolutionary Anthropology

A reader, Dan Fessler, is asking me to publicize some web-based social experiments.

Dan Fessler wrote:

All studies have been approved by the Office for the Protection of Research Subjects of the University of California, Los Angeles. Participation is completely anonymous, takes only a few minutes, and is unpaid; all studies are open to anyone over age 18. Below are the titles and links:

  1. An Investigation of the Subjective Determinants of Disgust Sensitivity
  2. Personality, Personal Taste and American Identity
  3. Effects of Context on First Impressions
  4. Are They Hot or Not?
  5. Salience of Personal Attributes in Social Encounters
  6. Emotional Reactions to Pictures

These and other surveys can also be reached via our virtual lab homepage.

I haven’t taken any of these surveys myself, so I can’t comment on them further, except to express a general reluctance to draw evolutionary implications from surveys taken over the internet. I’d feel more comfortable if these surveys were taken in multiple cultures. But this is no different than the old way to do surveys which relied on asking undergrads questions. Hopfully, Dr. Fessler will leave a comment that explains how they are going to make inferences from the surveys. As a scientist, I want to know more about the methodology.

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