Looks and status are still essential: Testing the mate preference priority model with the profile-based experimental paradigm

Yong, Jose, Tan, Yi Wen, Li, Norman P. and Meltzer, Andrea L. (2022) Looks and status are still essential: Testing the mate preference priority model with the profile-based experimental paradigm. Journal of Personality, 90 (6). pp. 821-845. ISSN 0022-3506

Journal of Personality - 2022 - Yong - Testing the Mate Preference Priority Model with the Profile‐Based Experimental.pdf - Accepted Version

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12699


Although the mate preference priority model (MPPM) has advanced our understanding of mate preferences, tests of the MPPM have relied on methods using text labels and thus lack ecological validity. We address this gap by testing the MPPM using J. M. Townsend's profile-based experimental paradigm, which utilizes profiles comprising photos of pre-rated models to manipulate physical attractiveness as well as costumes and descriptions to manipulate social status.

Using Singaporean samples, we conducted two studies (Study 1 n = 431, Study 2 n = 964) where participants judged the short-term and long-term mating desirability of opposite-sex profiles varying systematically on physical attractiveness and social status. We also tested whether treating these attributes as ordinal or continuous variables would be more valid.

Results showed broad support for evolutionary predictions of mate preferences and priorities while revealing an increased premium placed on social status in our sample. We also found that continuous operationalizations produced less inflated results.

The current research provides the first non-label, profile-based test of the MPPM, a well-powered replication of the profile-based paradigm, and an opportunity to observe the robustness and variations of mate preferences in a non-Western culture.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: culture, mate preference priority model, mate preferences, replication, sex differences
Subjects: C800 Psychology
C900 Others in Biological Sciences
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2022 11:55
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2024 03:30
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/48155

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