Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Those who under-estimated their own mate value earned more matches in a speed dating contest than those who over-estimated their mate value

The Role of Accurate Self-Assessments in Optimizing Mate Choice. Kaitlyn T. Harper et al. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, December 21, 2022.

Abstract: Individuals are thought to seek the best possible romantic partner in exchange for their own desirability. We investigated whether individuals’ self-evaluations were related to their partner choices and whether the accuracy of these self-evaluations was associated with mating outcomes. Participants (N = 1,354) took part in a speed-dating study where they rated themselves and others on mate value and indicated their willingness to date each potential partner. Individuals were somewhat accurate in their self-evaluations, and these self-evaluations were associated with individuals’ revealed minimum and maximum standards for a potential partner, but not the number of partners they were interested in. Participants who overestimated their mate value were accepted by an equivalent number of partners compared with under-estimators, but the over-estimators were choosier and thus ended up with fewer (but similarly attractive) reciprocal matches. Results support social exchange theory and the matching hypothesis, and contrast findings that self-enhancement facilitates positive social outcomes.