Skyler S Place, Peter M Todd, Lars Penke, and Jens B Asendorpf (2010)

Humans show mate copying after observing real mate choices

Evolution and Human Behavior, 31:320-325.

When searching for a mate, one must gather information to determine the mate value of potential partners. By focusing on individuals who have been previously chosen by others, one's selection of mates can be influenced by another's successful search a phenomenon known as mate copying. We show mate copying in humans with a novel methodology that closely mimics behavioral studies with non-human animals. After observing instances of real mating interest in video recordings of speed-dates, both male and female participants show mate copying effects of heightened short-term and long-term relationship interest towards individuals in dates they perceived as successful. Furthermore, the relative attractiveness of observers and observed plays a mediating role in whom an individual will choose to copy. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Mate choice; Mate copying; Social information; Decision-making; Speed-dating