Do partnered women discriminate men's faces less along the attractiveness dimension?

Wang, H., Hahn, A. C. , DeBruine, L. M. and Jones, B. C. (2016) Do partnered women discriminate men's faces less along the attractiveness dimension? Personality and Individual Differences, 98, pp. 153-156. (doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2016.04.024)

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Abstract

Romantic relationships can have positive effects on health and reproductive fitness. Given that attractive potential alternative mates can pose a threat to romantic relationships, some researchers have proposed that partnered individuals discriminate opposite-sex individuals less along the physical attractiveness dimension than do unpartnered individuals. This effect is proposed to devalue attractive (i.e., high quality) alternative mates and help maintain romantic relationships. Here we investigated this issue by comparing the effects of men's attractiveness on partnered and unpartnered women's performance on two response measures for which attractiveness is known to be important: memory for face photographs (Study 1) and the reward value of faces (Study 2). Consistent with previous research, women's memory was poorer for face photographs of more attractive men (Study 1) and more attractive men's faces were more rewarding (Study 2). However, in neither study were these effects of attractiveness modulated by women's partnership status or partnered women's reported commitment to or happiness with their romantic relationship. These results do not support the proposal that partnered women discriminate potential alternative mates along the physical attractiveness dimension less than do unpartnered women.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hahn, Dr Amanda and Debruine, Professor Lisa and Jones, Professor Benedict
Authors: Wang, H., Hahn, A. C., DeBruine, L. M., and Jones, B. C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:Personality and Individual Differences
Publisher:Elsevier Science
ISSN:0191-8869
ISSN (Online):1873-3549
Published Online:16 April 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Elsevier
First Published:First published in Personality and Individual Differences 98:153-156
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
604381OCMATE�\200\224 Do oral contraceptives alter women�\200\231s mate preferences?Benedict JonesEuropean Research Council (ERC)OCMATE FP7ERC28RI NEUROSCIENCE & PSYCHOLOGY