Ep. #75 The Role of Intelligence in Mating and Relationships with Glenn Geher

Ep. #75 The Role of Intelligence in Mating and Relationships with Glenn Geher

Ep. #75 The Role of Intelligence in Mating and Relationships with Glenn Geher
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Today we are talking about intelligence. Does intelligence make you more attractive or less attractive? Does it influence your relationship success or your dating success? We're going to find out more about this today.

It's a funny topic because if you talk to dating coaches, a lot of them will talk about 'naturals', like guys who are naturally good with women, and most of these guys tend to not be the typical smart guy. They are not the typical guy that is doing studies in PhDs and really furthering his academic education, doesn't take the most cerebral jobs out there. Often you talk about the football jockey or the guy that's more interested in sports and not so interested in academic subjects, and so on and so forth.

So that's the stereotype coming from a lot of the dating coach world. Then you have the stereotype that's coming from a lot of the students in which they feel that they are not smart enough. This is one of the qualities that they think is holding them back. Also, there is the stereotype in society that is like the super smart geek. If you look at the comedies and the talk shows, you'll often see that the guy who is not getting the results with women in those shows – think about Two and Half Men; Allen in that show is supposedly more intelligent, more thoughtful and so on than Charlie, but get no where with women; and if you look at so many other shows, it's similar – the geek doesn't tend to do so well with women; the guy who is a bit nerdy, he's really smart, and he's really into more serious subjects, academic subjects, etc.

So, this is an interesting subject to pull apart and see the actual reality of it, especially if we look at the research and go back to that, instead of just talking to people about their opinions and see what that says.

Today we have Dr. Glenn Geher. He's a professor and chair of psychology at the State University of New York. Specifically, he has been very interested in the topic of intelligence and mating. The book that he has written is Mating Intelligence Unleashed: The Role of the Mind in Sex, Dating, and Love. It looks a lot about what intelligence is and how it influences attraction, relationships, outcomes, and so on. Glenn really is the ideal person to talk about this. It's going to be a great show, really pulling apart whether being smart helps or hinders you. Frankly, I feel that this is a topic that we really should have covered before because it's one of those things that guys use as an excuse for not getting out there and making things happen for themselves. So, here it is.

Glenn is also pretty active. He is a founding member of the evolutionary studies consortium, which pushes and spreads ideas about evolutionary psychology. We've had other evolutionary psychologists on the podcast before so you'll understand that. He also blogs at Psychology Today, which of course is a very reputable magazine in the psychology area.

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Specifically, in this episode you'll learn about:

  • Glenn's perspective on his area of science in comparison to Geoffrey Miller's area of science (evolutionary psychology) (05:23)
  • Factors of human relationships and issues of mating in understanding how evolution can help us understand relationships: Is it from a nature as opposed to a nurture perspective that is imbedded in us and cannot be changed? (06:10)
  • Does intelligence play a role in attractiveness and mating outcomes or results, or success with dating, relationships, and sex? (11:20)
  • Intra-sexual selection: how members of the same sex (according to Darwin) compete with each other for a member of the opposite sex (16:40)
  • The realization that there is a lack of mating intelligence based on mating relevant biases (19:30)
  • The aspect of uncertainty and if more intelligent women have a tendency to have less negative biases (e.g. commitment, anti-commitment) (24:00)
  • Types of intelligence, how they relate to each other, and play into the mating intelligence role (26:24)
  • Stereotypes of intelligence and observations in the dating market (30:55)
  • Does IQ correlate with behaviors that lead to positive outcomes in terms of health, relationships, satisfaction, and happiness? (36:41)
  • The differences in intelligence between men and women and how they affect the mating game (41:20)
  • Evidence of interpersonal skills whereby relationships have been improved by also improving those skills (46:25)
  • The type of intelligence that is important for a relationship (48:23)
  • Does emotional intelligence relate to a person's reactiveness on an emotional level? (49:50)
  • Emotional intelligence domination between partners (51:10)
  • Recommendations for high quality advice in the area of dating, sex, and relationships (54:28)
  • Top three recommendations to help men get a better relationship, dating, or mating life (55:36)

Items Mentioned in this Episode include:

  • Scott Barry Kaufman: Glenn mentioned his co-author of the book Mating Intelligence Unleashed in reference to the idea of what is intelligence and how it relates to human mating behaviors.
  • Geoffrey Miller: Glenn referred to Geoffrey when discussing mating relevant outcomes of mating intelligence.
  • John D. Mayer and Peter Salovey article: Glenn noted John and Peter's article when referring to emotional intelligence and how it kickstarted the idea that there are many routes to success, and that intelligence is more than just verbal and qualitative.
  • Emotional Intelligence and It's Relation to Everyday Behaviour: Regarding interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence, Glenn mentioned a study by Rebecca Warner and Marc A. Brackett.
  • John Gottman: When discussing the benefits of kindness in a relationship, Glenn noted John Gottman for his emotional intelligence research.
  • Glenn’s recommendations to help men get a better relationship, dating, or mating life

  • Maryanne Fisher: Glenn recommends Maryanne for her great research on relationships from an evolutionary perspective.
  • Justin R. Garcia: He is the Director of Education & Research Training; Assistant Research Scientist at The Kinsey Institute. Glenn recommends Justin for his research into the nature of relationships.
  • Daniel J. Kruger, PhD: He is a research professor and faculty member of the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan. Glenn recommends Dan for his in-depth research on intelligence in mating and relationships.

Full Text Transcript of the Interview

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