Self-Monitoring and Evolutionary Tradeoffs in Mate Preference

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Self-Monitoring and Evolutionary Tradeoffs in Mate Preference

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Previous studies have shown high self-monitors (SM) and low self-monitors (SM) to have different mate preferences. Other studies show no difference. In study 1 we attempted to explain these contradictory findings by measuring evolutionary tradeoffs. Participants were measured on the Self-Monitoring Scale and asked to design their ideal mate with fictitious 'mate dollars' and three budgets; low, medium, and high. We found that SM status predicted how much participants spent on four mate selection characteristics; fidelity, dependability, creativity, and good parenting. Specifically, some of the findings were that high SM men spent more on fidelity in a prospective mate in a long-term relationship than a short-term one. Also, while low and high SM females spent almost the same amount on dependability, high SM males spent significantly less on dependability than their low SM counterparts. In addition, low SM individuals in general spent more on creativity than did high SM individuals in a short-term relationship context. Finally, low SM males spent more on good parenting, and their investment increased significantly as it shifted from a short-term to a long-term relationship context.


Additional Contributors: Sarah Feingold; Mark Snyder (faculty mentor)

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This research was supported by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).

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Lund, Erik. (2011). Self-Monitoring and Evolutionary Tradeoffs in Mate Preference. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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