NCBI ROFL: Do women prefer more complex music around ovulation?

By ncbi rofl | May 7, 2012 7:00 pm

“The evolutionary origins of music are much debated. One theory holds that the ability to produce complex musical sounds might reflect qualities that are relevant in mate choice contexts and hence, that music is functionally analogous to the sexually-selected acoustic displays of some animals. If so, women may be expected to show heightened preferences for more complex music when they are most fertile. Here, we used computer-generated musical pieces and ovulation predictor kits to test this hypothesis. Our results indicate that women prefer more complex music in general; however, we found no evidence that their preference for more complex music increased around ovulation. Consequently, our findings are not consistent with the hypothesis that a heightened preference/bias in women for more complex music around ovulation could have played a role in the evolution of music. We go on to suggest future studies that could further investigate whether sexual selection played a role in the evolution of this universal aspect of human culture.”

Photo: flickr/Epiclectic
Thanks to BBoyButzemann for today’s ROFL!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=584353754 Paul Hembree

    ZOMG they introduced SYNCOPATION in LEVEL 5, therefore it must be MORE COMPLEX! Nevermind the fact that, although MAYBE they could harmonize that drivel with those chords, they clearly have NO IDEA what modulation means.

  • Biggie

    Followup investigation: Do women prefer maxis or tampons when listening to Brian Ferneyhough?

  • JeffT

    ABSTRACT
    The evolutionary origins of
    shitty, subdiscipline-blindered science are much debated. One theory
    holds that the ability to produce complicated but dubious
    pseudoscientific research that manages to oversimplify and insult an
    entire academic discipline might reflect
    qualities that are relevant in mate choice contexts and hence, that
    this is functionally analogous to the sexually-selected acoustic
    displays of some animals. If so, women may be expected to show
    heightened preferences for more complex pseudoscientific bullshit when
    they are most fertile. Here, we used computer-generated bullshit and
    ovulation predictor kits to test this hypothesis. Our results indicate
    that women prefer more complicated scholarship in general; however, we
    found no evidence that their preference increased around ovulation.
    Consequently, our findings are not consistent with the hypothesis that a
    heightened preference/bias in women around ovulation could have played a
    role in the evolution of this style of scholarship. We go on to suggest
    future studies that could further investigate whether sexual selection
    played a role in the evolution of this universal aspect of research
    university culture.

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About ncbi rofl

NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl

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