Friday, April 30, 2021

Couple Simulation: A Novel Approach for Evaluating Models of Human Mate Choice

Couple Simulation: A Novel Approach for Evaluating Models of Human Mate Choice. Daniel Conroy-Beam. Personality and Social Psychology Review, January 7, 2021.

Popular version Computer Love | The UCSB Current

Abstract: Choosing a mate is perhaps the most important decision a sexually reproducing organism makes in its lifetime. And yet, psychologists lack a precise description of human mate choice, despite sustained attention from several theoretical perspectives. Here, I argue this limited progress owes to the complexity of mate choice and describe a new modeling approach, called “couple simulation,” designed to compare models of mate choice by challenging them to reproduce real couples within simulated mating markets. I present proof-of-concept simulations that demonstrate couple simulation can identify a population’s true model of mate choice. Furthermore, I apply couple simulation to two samples of real couples and find that the method (a) successfully reconstructs real-world couples, (b) discriminates between models of mate choice, and (c) predicts a wide range of dimensions of relationship quality. Collectively, these results provide evidence that couple simulation offers a framework useful for evaluating theories of human mate choice.

Keywords: mate choice, human mating, relationships, agent-based modeling

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