Please join Bilkent University’s Psychology Department next Wednesday for the virtual visit of Dr Ryan Anderson.
Speaker: Ryan Anderson. Monash University
“I want what she’s having: Evidence for human mate copying”
Date: Wednesday, 24 November 2021
***This is an online event. To obtain Zoom link and password, please contact to the department.
Abstract: A variety of non-human females do not select their romantic/sexual partners independently. Instead they favour those having previous associations with other females, a phenomenon known as mate copying. The current set of studies sought to determine how previously being selected as a romantic partner would influence a prospective mate’s desirability among humans. In Study 1 female university students (N = 123) rated the desirability of photographed men pictured alone or with one, two, or five women represented by silhouettes. In accordance with the visual arrays men were described as currently in a romantic relationship, having previously been in one, two, or five relationships, or not having a romantic relationship in the past four years. In Study 2 (N = 323) women of varying sexual orientations were asked to assess the long-term desirability of hypothetical prospective mates described as having had 0, 1, or 5 relationships in the past. Study 1 indicated that women generally rated men pictured with one or two previous partners as more desirable than those with none. Men depicted with five previous partners, however, were found to be less desirable. Results of Study 2 confirmed that heterosexual women exhibit a propensity to mate copy, and so do bisexual and gay women. Whereas heterosexual women found one previous mate more desirable than five previous mates in a hypothetical romantic partner, gay women did not find this indication of promiscuity to be as unappealing. The findings reaffirmed and expanded those suggesting that women do not make mate choices wholy independently. A prospective partner’s desirability depends on their sexual history, but also varies according to the sexual orientation of the individual doing the rating.
About the speaker: Ryan Anderson earned his Ph.D in psychology from James Cook University. His research interests include mate selection, attraction, social decision making, and nonindependent mate choice. He is currently a teaching associate at Monash University, in Melbourne.