November 9, 2010

The evolution of extraversion

Anthropologist Peter Frost blogs:
This has long been the case with simple ‘horticultural’ societies in the tropical zone. The women feed themselves and their children with minimal male assistance because they can grow food year-round. And this food production is not appropriated by a State or a land-owning class.

Such societies remain simple in large part because intense sexual competition keeps them from evolving into more complex entities. The surplus males stir up endless conflict, if only because their sole access to women is through warfare, i.e., rape and abduction. There can never be pacification and, therefore, the formation of larger, more advanced societies.

A high incidence of polygyny favors men with a different toolkit of physical and mental traits. Some personality traits, for instance, will be more advantageous than others. Such is the finding of a series of studies from rural Senegal, where 48% of men over 40 are polygynous.

Alvergne et al. (2009, 2010a, 2010b) found no correlation among Senegalese men between mating success and most personality traits, i.e., neuroticism, openness, and agreeableness. One trait, however, showed a strong correlation. This was extraversion, defined as “pro-social behavior which reflects sociability, assertiveness, activity, dominance and positive emotions.” Men with above-medium extraversion were 40% more likely to have more than one wife than those with below-medium extraversion, after controlling for age. Furthermore, this personality trait correlated with higher testosterone levels. Such a linkage suggests that extraversion is part of the male toolkit for mating success in a high-polygyny environment.

Perhaps this goes along with the notion of a mid-latitude Jealousy Belt (Sicily, Lebanon, Afghanistan, etc.), where life is full of interest because men tend to be extraverted and on the prowl but women remain major investments.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

OT. Beware of the SAB STORY.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1327282/How-middle-class-mother-Tunbridge-Wells-stupid.html

"Caroline was well aware that much of ‘Sab’s’ story was invented, yet it was only after two months of passionate conversation that the two of them spoke seriously about his identity."

Mr. Anon said...

Steve: Off-topic, but perhaps of interest to you is this Frontline documentary which aired tonight "The Confessions"

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/the-confessions/

Quite interesting, a hunt for the great white defendant. However the Virginia police and prosecutors in this case tried to get seven GWDs in one go.

Anonymous said...

Southern China would be in the jealousy belt, but the men don't appear particularly extroverted or protective of their women.

TGGP said...

Why is there so much variation in extroversion if it is so highly selected for? Height is normally distributed because being too tall has costs.

Hail said...

rural Senegal, where 48% of men over 40 are polygynous.

Did I read that right? 48% of men have more than one current wife? If the average is a mere 2.1 wives, that adds up to 100% of the women. (CIA says there is male-female numerical parity so it holds true.)

There are almost no monogamous marriages at all in rural Senegal.


Also: Peter Frost's words are a scholarly rendering of the classic argument against polygamy.

Anonymous said...

Some stark, unignorable data about Black high-school males performing even less well than previously thought (haven't read it all yet though).

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/09/education/09gap.html?_r=5&src=twt&twt=nytimesnational

“There’s accumulating evidence that there are racial differences in what kids experience before the first day of kindergarten,” said Ronald Ferguson, director of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard. “They have to do with a lot of sociological and historical forces."

You've probably seen it already, however.

You need to ask for 'lesswrong's software, a variation of Reddit's. It's open-source, I believe you're entitled to ask for it.

-- anonymous17

Anonymous said...

This is Maureen Dowd's latest: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/10/opinion/10dowd.html?hp

she really oughta be fired.

TH said...

Did I read that right? 48% of men have more than one current wife? If the average is a mere 2.1 wives, that adds up to 100% of the women. (CIA says there is male-female numerical parity so it holds true.)

No, you did not read it right: 48% of men over 40 are polygynous

agnostic said...

"Southern China would be in the jealousy belt, but the men don't appear particularly extroverted or protective of their women."

It's not latitude. As Frost says, it's more about their way of subsistence. The Chinese are one of the most extreme examples of sedentary agriculturalists.

Frost is talking about groups who mostly use slash-and-burn gardening, and Steve is talking about areas with a greater history of pastoralism.

Hunter-gatherers don't fall in with those two, even though they're mobile rather than sedentary. So it's something about being on-the-move (excluding settled farmers), as well as having some kind of private property or stuff that could be accumulated and ruined or stolen (excluding mobile hunter-gatherers).

In slash-and-burners and herders you see a greater culture of honor, and extraversion probably helps with that. For one, it makes you more boastful, and it makes you look less shrinking. That shows up even on a small scale, like introverted English farmers vs. extraverted Scottish and Irish herders.

Anonymous said...

huh.

Simon in London said...

Hail - "over 40" is the key; older men with multiple younger wives.

Anonymous said...

That shows up even on a small scale, like introverted English farmers vs. extraverted Scottish and Irish herders.

Probably solved through the cultural solution of alcohol rather than through personality genetics per say (though there might be other genetic sidechains to make that cultural solution viable! it'd be interesting to see if there are genetic variants that affect what "sort" of drunk a man will be and whether they are subject to any selection).

Anonymous said...

Good ole Jared Taylor.

http://why-we-are-white-refugees.blogspot.com/2010/07/racism-guilt-self-hatred-and-self.html?spref=fb

Wandrin said...

"Southern China would be in the jealousy belt, but the men don't appear particularly extroverted or protective of their women."

Female brains are a factor in what constitutes successful male behaviour.

You can picture a Chinese dude in ancient China moon-walking to impress a gal and her rolling her eyes and saying "fool, how many cow you got?"

Wandrin said...

Off-topic but

"Good ole Jared Taylor."

From the linked article

"The vast majority of South African blacks do not want black rule. They know from their own experiences with black policemen and black bureaucrats that when Africans are in positions of power they are corrupt, despotic, and oppressive."

Hence the key (imo) to how Britain could run 1/4 of the planet with less soldiers than Saddam needed to hold Iraq - through creating and running an honest and fair (most of the time) criminal justice system with no tolerance for corruption.

The places which were the most problematic were those where the native population were capable of creating the same thing on their own e.g Boers, Americans or where a substantial settler population managed to influence the legal system in their favor.

If true then i think this something that needs to be learned in any future Iraqs.

Whitey Whiteman III said...

Yeah, being alpha is pretty cool.

Anonymous said...

Another off-topic, Steve, from the Toronto Star ... http://www.parentcentral.ca/parent/education/article/888368--asian-students-being-forced-into-university-maclean-s

Anonymous said...

I'd call Sicilian men a lot of things, but I wouldn't call them extroverted. They tend to mind their own business for obvious reasons, and they usually do NOT mess around once married -- strong loyalty is a common trait. They like ritual behavior, predictability in their environment, and freedom to do things their own way.

Sicilians are not much like the flashy and arrogant Afghans and Lebanese, except for having long memories for personal slights; it's important not to confuse them with their Italian brethren to the north, the Neapolitans, who are flashy and arrogant. However, Sicilians are more like Northern Europeans in their belief that revenge is a dish best served cold. They also tend to have small families since too many children and cousins can become a liability in a resource poor environment; some of the most internecine fights in Sicily are among disgruntled family members bickering over water rights on the ancestral family spread or who inherits grandmother's cash stuffed mattress.

Anonymous said...

This finding is indirectly supporting Rushton's finding about relationship between personality and IQ.

People of dominant personality tends to be low IQ.

sabril said...

Perhaps the causation is backwards. i.e. if you are succesful with women for whatever reason, you will tend to behave in a more extraverted fashion.

Simo Häyhä said...

In slash-and-burners and herders you see a greater culture of honor, and extraversion probably helps with that. For one, it makes you more boastful, and it makes you look less shrinking. That shows up even on a small scale, like introverted English farmers vs. extraverted Scottish and Irish herders.

Haven't thought about this before, but it does seem at odd with the slash and burn Finns.

Finns are hardly extroverted and boastful. Then again, they are Finns so all bets may be off.

Severn said...

Much of the West has been transformed into an advanced version of those "simple horticultural societies" via government edict. That is, women can feed themselves and their children with little (direct) male assistance.

(Of course in this case men still support the women, but through the tax system)

The result is pressure towards polygyny and the need for men to develop "extraversion". At which point we see bloggers like Roissey appear on the scene.

Anonymous said...

Why do so many posters feel it necessary to constantly post OT things?

Especially noticeable is their particular emphasis on race.

Bob said...

South Chinese are recent decedents of northern Chinese invaders and did not evolve in a warm climate. The Hmong, who now are mostly in Vietnam and Laos, were one of the many peoples native to Southern China who were pushed south by the Han.

Turks are known as introverts and live a fairly warm climate, but they too are descendants of people from cold climates in the northeast of Turkey.

Bob said...

Italy has been urbanized for a longer time than any other part of the world, so this is a separate reason that extroversion might be more common there.

Whiskey said...

How would one classify Southern Italians?

During the Roman Republic and most of the Empire, introversion and a rather flat hierarchy characterized the people. Caesar Augustus was "Princeps" (literally First Citizen) and only after Constantine did people approach emperors on bended knee like they were Gods.

Yet today Southern Italians are fairly extroverted, famously caricatured by American comedians. So what changed?

IMHO, the selective pressure of female choice, bounded by culture and economics as much as anything else. Yes moonwalking is meaningless when property/wealth are involved. But it can flip rapidly the other way, if wealth is so uncertain, the best choice is a "sexy son" who can dance his way into hearts, or be the violent warrior. And a good deal of that is how violence is dealt out. In the line, shoulder to shoulder, you select for intraversion and comradeship. If one on one, no organized, mass shock battles of annihilation, then the sort of West African extroversion. Which is great for small running battles but deadly in mass battles of annihilation.

Anonymous said...

The life expectancy in Senegal is only 55. So those men over forty with multiple wives will have to hurry up and enjoy them quick.

I suppose that this is a real finding from real research but it is hardly the sort of result that rocks your world view. The Big Five example of extraversion in Wikipedia is:
I am the life of the party.
I don't mind being the center of attention.
I feel comfortable around people.
I start conversations.
I talk to a lot of different people at parties

Is anyone surprised that such a person would would be likely to be able to meet and marry? Are they going to follow this up with a study called "Wall flowers go home alone"?

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

Much of the West has been transformed into an advanced version of those "simple horticultural societies" via government edict. That is, women can feed themselves and their children with little (direct) male assistance.

Yes. We have de facto polygyny, with the "alpha" of state and corporations providing subsistence to women. Women are "farming" the state/corporations. Women are "corporate concubines" i.e. "a female whose reliance on her de facto polygynous bond with a corporate entity and/or its personnel, has largely displaced her normal mating bond."

Note that this correlates with the permanent slowdown in productivity growth that began in 1973.

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2003/11/27/143743/49

The result is pressure towards polygyny and the need for men to develop "extraversion". At which point we see bloggers like Roissey appear on the scene.

The result is the permanent slowdown in productivity growth, decline and decay of the US and the West, and possibly the collapse of technological civilization.

Svigor said...

You can picture a Chinese dude in ancient China moon-walking to impress a gal and her rolling her eyes and saying "fool, how many cow you got?"

LOL.

Difference Maker said...

Southern China would be in the jealousy belt, but the men don't appear particularly extroverted or protective of their women.

Different racial stock. Southern China was also largely settled from the north, in a period which coincided with the mass adoption of foot binding, precluding women from doing much physical work.

However, there are some archaic as well as tribal holdovers among southerners that I see, which perhaps is not surprising and is also not unique to the south, as the north has received influx of rude barbarians for generations

Difference Maker said...

Yet today Southern Italians are fairly extroverted, famously caricatured by American comedians. So what changed?

IMHO, the selective pressure of female choice, bounded by culture and economics as much as anything else.


I won't pretend to know all the factors but we may suspect the Gothic wars as well as the Muslim conquest.

However, even before then, we know that Rome in creating its empire had a very italic centric military at first, exporting huge numbers of its men while important huge numbers of conquered slaves. The apparent transformation of the character of the Roman people I feel is not a coincidence

Hail said...

"over 40" is the key; older men with multiple younger wives.

You're right -- but the point remains that a lot of men are without wives.

Using IDB data I find this:

SENEGAL 2010
Over 40
917,000 males
1,141,000 females

15-39
2,349,000 males
2,552,000 females

If 48% of males over 40 have an average of :
A -- 1.5 extra young wives, that would take away 660,000 young females, or 25.9% of the nation's supply of young-females. Leaving 457,000 young males single [19.5% of young males].
B -- 2.0 extra young wives, that would take away 880,000 young females, or 34.5% of the nation's supply of young-females. Leaving 677,000 young males single [28.8%].

Note that the article did say it was rural males (CIA says 58% of the population is rural); presumably the rate in cities is lower -- However, the above also presumes all males under 40 have a hard cap of 1.0 wives, which is impossible. These effects may cancel each other out.

One way or another, a large share of young males, perhaps as much as one-in-four, are forced to be single by this setup. Steve has pointed this out in his writing: Polygamy is bad because a lot of males end up forcibly single.

Interestingly, China has the same problem in the same proportion, but caused by sex-selective-abortion rather than polygamy.

David said...

In a better and brighter future, all men will be herded into sperm banks where they will do their duty to ensure the continuation of the race once or twice, then they will be whisked to Castration Centers. I predict an subsequent explosion of intellectual and economic growth, and greater happiness.

Man's most destructive conflict is his big head v. his little head. The trouble doesn't come from Pandora's box.

Anonymous said...

I predict an subsequent explosion of intellectual and economic growth, and greater happiness.

There's no reason to believe that this will lead to "intellectual and economic growth." I suspect most of "intellectual and economic growth" ultimately boils down to competitive men competing for women via intellectual and economic activity. Take that incentive away and you're not going to get the growth.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Why do so many posters feel it necessary to constantly post OT things?

Especially noticeable is their particular emphasis on race."

Because we think it might be of general interest.

By the way, your post was off topic.

And it emphasized the issue of race.

P Coderh said...

@Whiskey

You gota be shitting with this, right? The Romans were introverted? Wrong. They were an oversexed, extroverted and gregarious people obviously. Their high intelligence and gregariousness explains why the entire modern government and jurisprudence was invented by them. Only highly social animals would worry so much about systems to check and balance individual greed and the relations between people. Would you call men like Julius Caesar, Mark Anthony, Marcus Crassus and others introverts? They had gravitas and a serious way of facing life as a battle for personal dignity and glory, but they were certainly not introverted nerdy men. Introverted people are not confident in social settings, witty and loquacious, and charming to both men and women which these men were. And Rome produced myriads of these men.

Anonymous said...

"Why do so many posters feel it necessary to constantly post OT things?"

I have long stopped reading OT comments on blogs and find them to be an annoyance. My message to all OT'ers: Get your own blogs!

P Coderch said...

Ok, Steve Sailer once again didn't post a long post I made because I wasn't PC enough in my description of the attractiveness of black women, so fuck him and this blog. I won't be posting here anymore.

Truth said...

"so fuck him and this blog...."

Why did you omit this guy's post again Steve, I don't understand?

Anonymous said...

where does culture come from?

http://hbdchick.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/extraversion-and-culture/

besos,
hbd chick (^_^)