testosterone related “ masculine ” traits W r i t i n g
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Overview: Your assignment is to design a fictitious dating app profile that is optimally designed to be successful for a particular mating strategy studied in class, including as many attractiveness cues and signals as possible/reasonable for the target audience. You will then list or label the components of the ad with the cues or signals you have included, and why they are included for the mating strategy your fictitious person is pursuing. The fictitious ad should be optimized for something like 0kCupid, Match.com, or the like, where there is a reasonable amount of “profile” text.
Instructions, Rules and Limitations:
1.Create a personal ad targeted to optimize attractiveness for a specific mating strategy.
2.The ad must include profile text, anywhere from ½ to 1 page (can be bullet points but must optimize the sending of cues and signals for success in the given mating strategy.
3.The mating strategy you target, and the information you include in the ad, do not have to be “real” or have anything to do with you personally. Neither the sex nor the gender of the advertiser need be your own.
4.The persona you present in the ad (and the ad itself) will be treated as being completely fictitious (fake). If you find it easier to optimize an ad for yourself DO NOT include this information in the assignment.
5.This is a class exercise only: you may not post the fake ad on any dating website or venue (that would be unethical).
6.You may choose to create your own profile photo designed for the fake ad. You may also use a photo of a reasonably known public figure. This does not have to be a super famous person (e.g., the Kardashians, Trump, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga), but it has to be obvious to a casual viewer that the ad cannot possibly have been created by the person in the photo. Less famous models, actors in displays/ads/commercials, etc. are fine.
7.You absolutely may NOT use the photo of a private person who is not publicly recognizable (see 4), even if they have pictures on the internet.
8.Your ad can be serious (i.e., presented as if it were a real ad) or humorous (e.g., include the theoretical basis for including certain features within the ad itself), but it must demonstrate understanding and strategic use of the cues and signals covered in class.
Questions That Must be Addressed in Your Discussion of Your Ad:
1.a) What is the specific mating strategy that is being pursued by the ad?
b) To what kind of person (in terms of characteristics and mating strategy) is the ad targeted? Describe the features of mate value that the optimal respondent “catch” would have, based on the mating strategy being pursued in the ad.
c) Bonus points for picking a local market where your persona’s strategy and ad is likely to be particularly attractive (e.g., STM ad in a region with indicators that there is a higher proportion of short-term mateships)
2.What are the context-sensitive trade-offs involved in pursuing this mating strategy for the persona depicted in the ad (be specific)?
3.What elements of the profile photo provide either cues or signals found attractive by targets of the persona’s mating strategy?
4.For each cue or signal, briefly explain the underlying reason why it is attractive to the target audience (citations gets bonus points). Example: large jaw, wide face, heavy brow ridges–indicators of testosterone related “masculine” traits. Tradeoff between T and immunity hypothesized to make masculine features an honest signal or cue of underlying genetic quality hypothesized to be particularly attractive to women in STM contexts, as sire of offspring with “good genes.”
5.As with the photo, list each element of the text and how it provides a signal that is attractive for the given mating strategy, and why.
6.Once you are done, go back and look at your ad. What do you think you could have done to better optimize the mating strategy you picked (if you had sufficient time and graphic skills, for example)?
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