An Investigation of the Mate Preferences of Young Adults Using Choice Based Conjoint Analysis


The current study is an exploratory investigation concerning mate preferences of young adult males and females. Specifically, those that self proclaimed to be single or in a relationship, all of which were never married. Previous research shows that men and women differ in their mate selection preferences, specifically, men desire physical attractiveness and potential for fertility more than women, and women prefer promising financial status in a mate more than men in long-term relationships (Buss & Barnes, 1986). By presenting participants with hypothetical scenarios that combined different packages of mate characteristics, the current study is designed as a choice based conjoint analysis. The participants then evaluate their preference for each mate incorporating these attributes. Caruso, E. M., Rahnev, D. A., and Banaji, M. R. (2009) suggests that conjoint analysis can be a powerful method not only for quantifying participants' preferences, but also for revealing latent tendency of their hidden psychological preference. The current study's survey, adapted from Buss (1986), was taken by 64 participants; 44% were currently in a relationship, but no participants were in a marriage relationship. A significant difference was found in females' mate preferences for those in a relationship versus without a relationship for the easygoing-adaptable category. With the results of t(44) = -2.70, p < .01, with a large effect. Regardless of relationship status, the religiosity of the potential mate was considered significantly more important than other attributes.

Author Information
Su Kuan Chung, Brigham Young University'Hawaii, USA
Christina Arianna Hubner, Brigham Young University'Hawaii, USA
Rebecca Cierra Adams, Brigham Young University'Hawaii, USA
Mikaeli Zito, Brigham Young University'Hawaii, USA
Boyd Timothy, Brigham Young University'Hawaii, USA
Ronald Mellado Miller, Brigham Young University-Hawaii, USA

Paper Information
Conference: ACP2016
Stream: Qualitative/Quantitative Research in any other area of Psychology

This paper is part of the ACP2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon