Prioritization of Potential Mates' History of Sexual Fidelity During a Conjoint Ranking Task
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
This series of studies is the first to use conjoint analysis to examine how individuals make trade-offs during mate selection when provided information about a partner's history of sexual infidelity. Across three studies, participants ranked profiles of potential mates, with each profile varying across five attributes: financial stability, physical attractiveness, sexual fidelity, emotional investment, and similarity. They also rated each attribute separately for importance in an ideal mate. Overall, we found that for a long-term mate, participants prioritized a potential partner's history of sexual fidelity over other attributes when profiles were ranked conjointly. For a short-term mate, sexual fidelity, physical attractiveness, and financial stability were equally important, and each was more important than emotional investment and similarity. These patterns contrast with participants' self-reported importance ratings of each individual attribute. Our results are interpreted within the context of previous literature examining how making trade-offs affect mate selection.
Mogilski, Justin K.; Wade, T. Joel; and Welling, Lisa L.M.. "Prioritization of Potential Mates' History of Sexual Fidelity During a Conjoint Ranking Task." Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 40, no. 7 (2014) : 884-897.