The Evolution & Computations of Mating Psychology
This week on the Nature & Nurture Podcast, I interview evolutionary psychologist Dr. Dan Conroy-Beam.
Dan’s research is the scientific equivalent of the Black Mirror episode “Hang the DJ”, in which a futuristic dating app simulates thousands of relationship run-throughs between AI copies of its users. Fortunately the AI used in his models are a lot simpler and don’t feel heartbreak.
In this episode we cover a wide range of topics including Dan's research on computational mate choice, the theory and history of sexual selection, different reproductive strategies and status signaling in humans and other animals, and environmental factors influencing mate choice ranging from sex ratio, to resource availability, to modern dating app environments.
Dan uses an evolutionary and computational perspective to understand mate choice and mating relationships. Specifically, he is interested in how mate preferences are integrated with one another computationally in order to make mating decisions as well as the decision rules people use to navigate their mating markets and their relationships. Dan's work combines agent-based modeling of mate choice with studies of real couples to compare and explore candidate models for how people evaluate potential mates, pursue partners, and regulate their relationships.
Learn more about Dan's work at: https://www.danconroybeam.com/