The Impact of Health, Wealth, and Attractiveness on Romantic Evaluation from Photographs of Faces
- 1.2k Downloads
A large literature suggests that men and women differ in their self-reported mate preferences such that men place greater weight on physical attractiveness than women do, whereas women value financial prospects more than men. Yet, little research has addressed how these differences generalize to other contexts, such as modern online dating in which mate selection may largely depend on visual cues. Distinct from the sex differences observed in previous studies relying on self-reports, we found that men and women both used perceptions of health and attractiveness to select hypothetical partners based on photographs of their faces. Importantly, although people reliably identified others’ wealth from their photographs, these perceptions did not influence men’s or women’s partner selections. Thus, men and women may select romantic partners similarly based on limited visual information.
KeywordsMate preferences Online dating Sex differences Social perception
We would like to thank Rebecca Zhu and other members of the Social Perception and Cognition Lab for their help with data collection. The current work was supported by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to Nicholas O. Rule.
This study was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Grant.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
Konstantin O. Tskhay declares that he has no conflict of interest. Jerri M. Clout declares that she has no conflict of interest. Nicholas O. Rule declares that he has no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Baize, H. R., & Schroeder, J. E. (1995). Personality and mate selection in personal ads: Evolutionary preferences in a public mate selection process. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 10, 517–536.Google Scholar
- Bates, D., Maechler, M., & Bolker, B. (2005). Linear mixed-effects models using S4 classes. R package version 0.98-1. Google Scholar
- Cunningham, M. R., Roberts, A. R., Barbee, A. P., Druen, P. B., & Wu, C. H. (1995). “ Their ideas of beauty are, on the whole, the same as ours”: Consistency and variability in the cross-cultural perception of female physical attractiveness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 261–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hill, R. (1945). Campus values in mate-selection. Journal of Home Economics, 37, 554–558.Google Scholar
- Hox, J. J. (2010). Applied multilevel analysis (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Nezlek, J. B. (2007). Multilevel modeling in personality research. In R. W. Robins, R. C. Fraley, & R. F. Krueger (Eds.), Handbook of research methods in personality psychology (pp. 502–522). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Trivers, R. L. (1972). Parental investment and sexual selection. In B. G. Campbell (Ed.), Sexual selection and the descent of Man, 1871–1971 (pp. 136–179). Chicago, IL: Aldine.Google Scholar
- U.S. Census Bureau. (2014). Income and poverty in the United States: Current population reports. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2014/demo/p60-249.pdf on May 8, 2015.
- Zebrowitz, L. A. (1997). Reading faces: Window to the soul? Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar