A multivariate approach to human mate preferences

Lee, Anthony J., Dubbs, Shelli L., Von Hippel, William, Brooks, Robert C. and Zietsch, Brendan P. (2014) A multivariate approach to human mate preferences. Evolution and Human Behavior, 35 3: 193-203. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2014.01.003

Author Lee, Anthony J.
Dubbs, Shelli L.
Von Hippel, William
Brooks, Robert C.
Zietsch, Brendan P.
Title A multivariate approach to human mate preferences
Journal name Evolution and Human Behavior   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1090-5138
Publication date 2014-05-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2014.01.003
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 35
Issue 3
Start page 193
End page 203
Total pages 11
Place of publication New York, NY,United States
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Human mate choice is complicated, with various individual differences and contextual factors influencing preferences for numerous traits. However, focused studies on human mate choice often do not capture this multivariate complexity. Here, we consider multiple factors simultaneously to demonstrate the advantages of a multivariate approach to human mate preferences. Participants (N = 689) rated the attractiveness of opposite-sex online dating profiles that were independently manipulated on facial attractiveness, perceived facial masculinity/femininity, and intelligence. Participants were also randomly instructed to either consider short- or long-term relationships. Using fitness surfaces analyses, we assess the linear and nonlinear effects and interactions of the profiles' facial attractiveness, perceived facial masculinity/femininity, and perceived intelligence on participants' attractiveness ratings. Using hierarchical linear modeling, we were also able to consider the independent contribution of participants' individual differences on their revealed preferences for the manipulated traits. These individual differences included participants' age, socioeconomic status, education, disgust (moral, sexual, and pathogen), sociosexual orientation, personality variables, masculinity, and mate value. Together, our results illuminate various previously undetectable phenomena, including nonlinear preference functions and interactions with individual differences. More broadly, the study illustrates the value of considering both individual variation and population-level measures when addressing questions of sexual selection, and demonstrates the utility of multivariate approaches to complement focused studies.
Keyword Facial attractiveness
Sexual dimorphism
Multiple cues
Sexual selection
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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