Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

6-2002

Abstract

Social exchange and evolutionary models of mate selection incorporate economic assumptions but have not considered a key distinction between necessities and luxuries. This distinction can clarify an apparent paradox: Status and attractiveness, though emphasized by many researchers, are not typically rated highly by research participants. Three studies supported the hypothesis that women and men first ensure sufficient levels of necessities in potential mates before considering many other characteristics rated as more important in prior surveys. In Studies 1 and 2, participants designed ideal long-term mates, purchasing various characteristics with 3 different budgets. Study 3 used a mate-screening paradigm and showed that people inquire 1st about hypothesized necessities. Physical attractiveness was a necessity to men, status and resources were necessities to women, and kindness and intelligence were necessities to both.

Keywords

mate preferences, mate selection, differential priorities, necessities vs luxuries, gender differences

Discipline

Personality and Social Contexts | Social Psychology

Research Areas

Psychology

Publication

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Volume

82

Issue

6

First Page

947

Last Page

955

ISSN

0022-3514

Identifier

10.1037/0022-3514.82.6.947

Publisher

American Psychological Association

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.82.6.947

Share

COinS