STUDY ALERT: I like who you like, but only if I like you: Female character affects mate-choice copying

by Scott Barry Kaufman, January 27, 2012 in Study Alerts

I like who you like, but only if I like you: Female character affects mate-choice copying

Simon Chu

Mate-choice copying is shown when women imitate the mate-choice preferences of other women. We propose that the preferences of women with a pleasant character should be more influential than those of women with an unpleasant character and further suggest that this should apply only when the female demonstrates active interest in the male, rather than disinterest. Here, we presented women as having either a pleasant or unpleasant character and found that observing pleasant women looking at men increased women’s preferences for those men, while observing unpleasant women looking at men had no effect on women’s preferences. Furthermore, the effect of being looked at by a pleasant woman was heightened when she was smiling. This suggests that judgements of facial attractiveness can be socially influenced and that character affects the degree of influence.

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