Self-esteem, gender and romantic desirability: A study of their interactive effects

Gumley, James (2013). Self-esteem, gender and romantic desirability: A study of their interactive effects Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Gumley, James
Thesis Title Self-esteem, gender and romantic desirability: A study of their interactive effects
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2013-10-09
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Professor Matthew Hornsey
Total pages 68
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary High self-esteem is often considered to be a desirable trait in potential romantic partners. Yet peculiarly, there has been little research into whether this is the case. The literature has typically explored the effects of self-esteem on perceived romantic desirability either at the level of the observer or at the level of the target. The present study aimed to integrate these perspectives to more fully explore the interaction between observer and target self-esteem, and the consequences for perceived romantic desirability. We established dual predictions, based on Complementarity Theory and the Matching Hypothesis, about the role of observers’ self-esteem. We also sought to test men’s and women’s perceptions of high self-esteem as romantically desirable. Participants (N = 87) were each exposed to profiles of four opposite gender targets, who varied in self-esteem. We consistently found that high self-esteem is desirable, but that very high self-esteem is less so. Very low self-esteem was more desirable to those with low selfesteem than high self-esteem, but beyond this there was little overall difference in participants’ preferences according to their self-esteem. Moreover, men and women did not differ substantially in their overall preferences for self-esteem. Our findings demonstrate that romantic desirability is complex, and suggest that theories of partner selection should consider a range of factors.
Keyword Self-esteem
Gender
Romantic desirability
Interactive effects

 
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Created: Mon, 07 Jul 2014, 14:25:09 EST by Danico Jones on behalf of School of Psychology