bims-chumac Biomed News
on Context effects on human mate choice
Issue of 2019‒11‒17
eleven papers selected by
Jay Dixit
Storytelling.NYC


  1. Sci Rep. 2019 Nov 15. 9(1): 16885
    Conroy-Beam D, Buss DM, Asao K, Sorokowska A, Sorokowski P, Aavik T, Akello G, Alhabahba MM, Alm C, Amjad N, Anjum A, Atama CS, Duyar DA, Ayebare R, Batres C, Bendixen M, Bensafia A, Bizumic B, Boussena M, Butovskaya M, Can S, Cantarero K, Carrier A, Cetinkaya H, Croy I, Cueto RM, Czub M, Dronova D, Dural S, Duyar I, Ertugrul B, Espinosa A, Estevan I, Esteves CS, Fang L, Frackowiak T, Garduño JC, González KU, Guemaz F, Gyuris P, Halamová M, Herak I, Horvat M, Hromatko I, Hui CM, Jaafar JL, Jiang F, Kafetsios K, Kavčič T, Kennair LEO, Kervyn N, Thi Khanh Ha T, Khilji IA, Köbis NC, Lan HM, Láng A, Lennard GR, León E, Lindholm T, Thi Linh T, Lopez G, Van Luot N, Mailhos A, Manesi Z, Martinez R, McKerchar SL, Meskó N, Misra G, Monaghan C, Mora EC, Moya-Garófano A, Musil B, Natividade JC, Niemczyk A, Nizharadze G, Oberzaucher E, Oleszkiewicz A, Omar-Fauzee MS, Onyishi IE, Özener B, Pagani AF, Pakalniskiene V, Parise M, Pazhoohi F, Pisanski A, Pisanski K, Ponciano E, Popa C, Prokop P, Rizwan M, Sainz M, Salkičević S, Sargautyte R, Sarmány-Schuller I, Schmehl S, Sharad S, Siddiqui RS, Simonetti F, Stoyanova SY, Tadinac M, Varella MAC, Vauclair CM, Vega LD, Widarini DA, Yoo G, Zaťková M, Zupančič M.
      Humans express a wide array of ideal mate preferences. Around the world, people desire romantic partners who are intelligent, healthy, kind, physically attractive, wealthy, and more. In order for these ideal preferences to guide the choice of actual romantic partners, human mating psychology must possess a means to integrate information across these many preference dimensions into summaries of the overall mate value of their potential mates. Here we explore the computational design of this mate preference integration process using a large sample of n = 14,487 people from 45 countries around the world. We combine this large cross-cultural sample with agent-based models to compare eight hypothesized models of human mating markets. Across cultures, people higher in mate value appear to experience greater power of choice on the mating market in that they set higher ideal standards, better fulfill their preferences in choice, and pair with higher mate value partners. Furthermore, we find that this cross-culturally universal pattern of mate choice is most consistent with a Euclidean model of mate preference integration.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-52748-8
  2. J Sex Res. 2019 Nov 15. 1-13
    Borg C, Pawłowska A, van Stokkum R, Georgiadis JR, de Jong PJ.
      Anecdotal evidence suggests that sexual attraction is flexible, and that high levels of sexual arousal can promote sexual willingness and approach tendencies toward a priori low attractive mates. This experimental study tested whether heightened sexual arousal can lower the threshold for sexual willingness and automatic approach tendencies toward potential sex partners of low and medium attractiveness. Heterosexual male (n =54) and female (n =61) participants were randomly assigned to a sexual arousal or control condition. Approach tendencies were indexed using a reaction time task. Sexual willingness was indexed using participant ratings of willingness to kiss and to consider having sex with same- and other-sex models of low, medium, and high attractiveness. Overall, participants showed stronger approach to models of high and medium than of low attractiveness. Sexual arousal weakened this differential responding but did not result in a robust increase of approach toward less attractive other-sex or same-sex models. Sexual willingness toward less attractive models was not affected by sexual arousal. Independent of condition, women reported greater sexual willingness toward same-sex models. The current pattern of findings does not support the notion that sexual arousal promotes automatic approach and sexual willingness to a broader array of sex partners.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1080/00224499.2019.1687641
  3. Int J Psychol. 2019 Nov 14.
    Flicker SM, Sancier-Barbosa F, Afroz F, Saif SN, Mohsin F.
      Previous comparisons of relationship quality between individuals in couple-initiated and arranged marriage have yielded inconsistent findings. One factor which may help to explain this inconsistency is variability in the way in which arranged and couple-initiated marriages are practiced. To test this, we recruited 116 Bangladeshi women engaged to be married or within the first 3 years of couple-initiated and arranged marriages. We tested to see which of three models (type of marriage only, perceived influence over partner selection only, and a model that included both relationship type and influence over partner selection) best accounted for variance in self-reported intimacy, passion, commitment as well as positive and negative relationship quality. Results suggest that influence over partner selection is a better predictor of these outcomes than marriage type, with marriage type offering little if any information beyond that provided by perceived influence. Regardless of marriage type, women with greater influence over their partner selection reported higher levels of intimacy, passion, commitment and positive marital quality. Negative marital quality was unrelated. Future research may benefit from reconceptualising the arranged/couple-initiated marriage dichotomy as a continuum.
    Keywords:  Bangladesh; Human mate selection; Interpersonal relations; Love; Marriage; South Asia
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1002/ijop.12622
  4. Evol Psychol. 2019 Oct-Dec;17(4):17(4): 1474704919887706
    Apostolou M, Wang Y.
      A considerable proportion of people in postindustrial societies experience difficulties in intimate relationships and spend considerable time being single. In the current research, we attempted to examine mating performance, and occurrence and length of singlehood in a Greek (N = 884) and a Chinese (N = 2,041) sample. We found that, in both samples, about half of the participants experienced difficulties in intimate relationships. In addition, more than half of the participants were single, and nearly one in four participants indicated that they were single because they faced difficulties attracting a partner. Moreover, more than one in five singles in the Greek sample were without a partner for more than 3 years, and almost half of the singles in the Chinese sample had never been in a relationship. Mating performance predicted marital status, with low scorers being more likely to be single because they faced difficulties in attracting a partner than high scorers. Mating performance predicted also the length of singlehood, with low scorers spending more time being single than high scorers. In addition, singles who faced difficulties in attracting partners experienced lengthier spells of singlehood than other categories of singles. Furthermore, there were significantly more participants who preferred to be single and who never had a relationship in the Chinese than in the Greek sample. Overall, in both samples, a considerable proportion of participants experienced low mating performance, which was associated with increased incidence of prolonged spells of singlehood.
    Keywords:  involuntary singlehood; mating; mismatch problem; singlehood
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1177/1474704919887706
  5. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2019 Dec;117(6): 1139-1144
    Yeomans M, Brooks AW, Huang K, Minson J, Gino F.
      In a recent article published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (JPSP; Huang, Yeomans, Brooks, Minson, & Gino, 2017), we reported the results of 2 experiments involving "getting acquainted" conversations among strangers and an observational field study of heterosexual speed daters. In all 3 studies, we found that asking more questions in conversation, especially follow-up questions (that indicate responsiveness to a partner), increases interpersonal liking of the question asker. Kluger and Malloy (2019) offer a critique of the analyses in Study 3 of our article. Though their response is a positive signal of engaged interest in our research, they made 3 core mistakes in their analyses that render their critique invalid. First, they tested the wrong variables, leading to conclusions that were erroneous. Second, even if they had analyzed the correct variables, some of their analytical choices were not valid for our speed-dating dataset, casting doubt on their conclusions. Third, they misrepresented our original findings, ignoring results in all 3 of our studies that disprove some of their central criticisms. In summary, the conclusions that Kluger and Malloy (2019) drew about Huang et al. (2017)'s findings are incorrect. The original results are reliable and robust: Asking more questions, especially follow-up questions, increases interpersonal liking. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1037/pspi0000220
  6. Health Psychol. 2019 Nov 14.
    Kim HM, Miller LC.
      OBJECTIVE: Attachment theory provides a powerful framework for understanding individual differences affecting interpersonal relationships and a range of health behavior outcomes. However, no meta-analyses have yet to examine the relationship between adult attachment styles and risky sexual behaviors. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to synthesize the results of the association between adult attachment and risky sexual behaviors.METHOD: Keywords were searched via PsycINFO, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. We used comprehensive meta-analysis (CMA) 3.0 to systematically synthesize and analyze the 42 effect sizes from 16 studies (total N = 7,233).
    RESULTS: Attachment anxiety has a small effect on having multiple partners (Fisher's Z = .09, 95% CI [0.021, 0.154]; I² = 80.4%) and engaging in condomless sex (Fisher's Z = .09, 95% CI [.006, 0.175]; I² = 82.5%), whereas attachment avoidance has a small effect on having multiple partners (Fisher's Z = .06, 95% CI [0.019, 0.109]; I² = 57.6%) but no effect on engaging in condomless sex (Fisher's Z = .05, 95% CI [-0.024, 0.117]; I2 = 73.9%). Furthermore, average age of participants in a study (z = 3.31, β = .01, p = .001) and type of risk population (z = 3.03, β = .12, p = .002) were found to be significant moderators.
    CONCLUSIONS: Insecure attachment styles are related to risky sexual behaviors and the correlation between attachment anxiety and having multiple partners is stronger as the average age of participant increases and when the study population is specifically an at-risk population. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1037/hea0000821
  7. J Gen Psychol. 2019 Nov 12. 1-17
    Sağkal AS, Özdemir Y.
      Forming, maintaining, and ending romantic relationship is a crucial developmental task in emerging adulthood and highly correlated with psychosocial well-being. Although the direction of associations between relational and individual processes has been investigated in married couples, the longitudinal links between relationship satisfaction and life satisfaction has not yet been explored in premarital relationships of emerging adults. Therefore, the present study aimed to explore whether there is a top-down, bottom-up, or bidirectional effect between these two variables. Emerging adults (n = 182; 155 females, 27 males; Mage = 21.23, SDage = 1.62) from a public university responded self-report measures of the Couples Satisfaction Index and the Satisfaction with Life Scale at two time points over a 14-week interval. A cross-lagged autoregressive panel model analysis indicated that there was a bidirectional association between satisfaction in relationship domain and overall life satisfaction in premarital romantic relationships of emerging adults. The present findings importantly contribute to close relationships and well-being literatures. Study strengths, limitations, and implications are discussed.
    Keywords:  Emerging adults; life satisfaction; longitudinal cross-lagged analysis; premarital relationships; relationship satisfaction
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1080/00221309.2019.1688757
  8. PLoS One. 2019 ;14(11): e0224159
    Díez M, Sánchez-Queija I, Parra Á.
      The exploration of and search for romantic relationships is one of the developmental tasks that characterise emerging adulthood, a new developmental phase halfway between adolescence and full adulthood. This study aims to explore, in a Mediterranean country, the existing relationships between the subjective perception of some parental behaviour and the anxiety and avoidance dimensions of attachment during emerging adulthood. To do so, 1,502 university students (903 women and 599 men) aged between 18 and 29 (M = 20.32 and SD = 2.13) completed a self-report questionnaire. The results revealed that perceived family support and perceived parental warmth were negatively associated with the avoidance and anxiety dimensions. In contrast, perceived parental control (both behavioural and psychological) was found to be positively associated with both attachment dimensions. Perceived behavioural control was also found to play a moderator role between perceived parental warmth and romantic attachment anxiety. Only in cases in which emerging adults of our sample perceived low levels of behavioural control was warmth found to be negatively associated with anxiety. The main conclusion of this work is the negative impact that parental control seems to have on romantic attachment during emerging adulthood. The results are discussed with a focus on the continuing importance of the family context in relation to the completion of developmental tasks, even during emerging adulthood.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0224159
  9. PLoS One. 2019 ;14(11): e0224526
    Jaffé ME, Greifeneder R, Reinhard MA.
      Values, beliefs, and traits differ across individuals, and these concepts might impact whether individuals choose to engage in (dis)honest behavior. This project focuses on interindividual differences in Machiavellianism, which is defined as a tendency toward cynicism and manipulativeness, and the belief that the ends justify the means. We hypothesized that trait Machiavellianism would predict dishonest behavior. Furthermore, we speculated that some situations are more conducive than others for Machiavellianism to translate into behavior. In particular, Construal Level Theory holds that individuals construe social situations on a concrete level, or an abstract level, and that an abstract construal level triggers values and value-related traits to be more influential on behavior. Against this background, we hypothesized that differences in Machiavellianism produce differences in dishonest monetary behavior when situations are construed abstractly. Four studies tested these considerations by asking participants to toss a coin and self-report the toss' outcome. Inconsistent with our theorizing, we did not find that higher Machiavellianism is consistently associated with a higher self-reported probability of receiving an individual bonus. We also did not find consistent support that higher Machiavellianism is associated with cheating under abstract compared to concrete construal.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0224526
  10. J Soc Psychol. 2019 Nov 13. 1-14
    Rerick PO, Livingston TN, Davis D.
      Disputes over acquaintance rape typically center on the issue of whether the alleged victim consented to sex. Disputed sexual encounters often take place when one or both involved parties is sexually aroused, and this arousal might influence the extent to which the parties perceive sexual consent. Two studies tested the effects of men's sexual arousal on their interpretations of the extent to which 25 hypothetical female behaviors reflected sexual willingness. Arousal was manipulated via written fantasies (Study 1) or exposure to erotic material (Study 2). Manipulated arousal and individual differences in rated arousal were each associated with greater perceptions of female sexual willingness. Manipulated arousal was significant only for single men in Study 2. Findings suggested present-state sexual arousal affects single men's interpretations of women's sexual willingness. Men's sexual arousal might prominently contribute to misunderstandings in sexual communication.
    Keywords:  Sexual assault; overperception; perceived consent; rape; sexual arousal
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1080/00224545.2019.1692330
  11. J Sex Med. 2019 Nov 07. pii: S1743-6095(19)31455-9. [Epub ahead of print]
    Freihart BK, Meston CM.
      INTRODUCTION: Over the past 3 decades, our understanding of physiological synchrony (PS) has increased substantially. Research has shown that interpersonal PS is stronger in relationships characterized by emotional closeness and intimacy and that the magnitude of PS is moderated by relational satisfaction. Despite growing momentum for this area of study, no research to date has examined the relationship between PS and sexual satisfaction.AIM: The current study seeks to elucidate the relationship between PS and sexual satisfaction using study tasks that have been used in previous research to assess PS.
    METHODS: Heterosexual couples completed several survey measures in a laboratory setting. They were then connected to an electrocardiogram and instructed to complete baseline, gazing, and mirroring tasks. Subsequently, heart rate (HR) data for each dyad were analyzed for PS using a moderated multilevel modeling approach.
    MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Scores on the Sexual Satisfaction Scale were used to moderate dyadic coherence between male and female partner HRs over time.
    RESULTS: PS was detected in our sample, with both men reliably predicting the HR of their female partners, and women reliably predicting the HR of their male partners. Akaike information criterion values indicate the better fitting model for each task was for men predicting the women's HRs. A significant interaction effect was found between observed PS during the mirroring task (with male HR predicting female HR) and overall sexual satisfaction scores. There was no relationship between PS during baseline or gazing and overall sexual satisfaction.
    CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Results provide initial evidence for the relevance of PS in sexual dyanmics.
    STRENGTHS & LIMITATIONS: The current analysis used a dyadic psychophysiological approach to extend the growing body of literature on PS into the theoretically linked field of sexuality. Because of the small sample size and nondirectional nature of the study design, future research is needed to replicate and extend findings.
    CONCLUSION: The ability of couples to co-regulate while attempting actively to synchronize (as in the mirroring task) may be connected to how they perceive and experience their sexual relationship. Conversely, more sexually satisfied couples may be more likely to synchronize physiologically. Taken together, these findings reflect the first evidence that PS and sexual satisfaction may be associated at the couple-level. Freihart BK, Meston CM. Preliminary Evidence for a Relationship Between Physiological Synchrony and Sexual Satisfaction in Opposite-Sex Couples. J Sex Med 2019;XX:XXX-XXX.
    Keywords:  Dyadic Analysis; Physiological Coregulation; Physiological Linkage; Physiological Synchrony; Sexual Satisfaction
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsxm.2019.09.023