Predicting Romantic Interest at Zero Acquaintance

Evidence of Sex Differences in Trait Perception but Not in Predictors of Interest

Sally G. Olderbak, Frederic Malter, Pedro Sofio Abril Wolf, Daniel N. Jones, Aurelio J Figueredo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We evaluated five competing hypotheses about what predicts romantic interest. Through a half-block quasi-experimental design, a large sample of young adults (i.e. responders; n = 335) viewed videos of opposite-sex persons (i.e. targets) talking about themselves, and responders rated the targets' traits and their romantic interest in the target. We tested whether similarity, dissimilarity or overall trait levels on mate value, physical attractiveness, life history strategy and the Big Five personality factors predicted romantic interest at zero acquaintance and whether sex acted as a moderator. We tested the responders' individual perception of the targets' traits, in addition to the targets' own self-reported trait levels and a consensus rating of the targets made by the responders. We used polynomial regression with response surface analysis within multilevel modelling to test support for each of the hypotheses. Results suggest a large sex difference in trait perception; when women rated men, they agreed in their perception more often than when men rated women. However, as a predictor of romantic interest, there were no sex differences. Only the responders' perception of the targets' physical attractiveness predicted romantic interest; specifically, responders' who rated the targets' physical attractiveness as higher than themselves reported more romantic interest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-62
Number of pages21
JournalEuropean Journal of Personality
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Fingerprint

Sex Characteristics
Multilevel Analysis
Personality
Young Adult
Consensus
Research Design

Keywords

  • attraction
  • Big Five personality factors
  • life history strategy
  • mate value
  • multilevel model
  • polynomial regression
  • response surface analysis
  • social relations model
  • trait perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

Cite this

Predicting Romantic Interest at Zero Acquaintance : Evidence of Sex Differences in Trait Perception but Not in Predictors of Interest. / Olderbak, Sally G.; Malter, Frederic; Wolf, Pedro Sofio Abril; Jones, Daniel N.; Figueredo, Aurelio J.

In: European Journal of Personality, Vol. 31, No. 1, 01.01.2017, p. 42-62.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Olderbak, Sally G. ; Malter, Frederic ; Wolf, Pedro Sofio Abril ; Jones, Daniel N. ; Figueredo, Aurelio J. / Predicting Romantic Interest at Zero Acquaintance : Evidence of Sex Differences in Trait Perception but Not in Predictors of Interest. In: European Journal of Personality. 2017 ; Vol. 31, No. 1. pp. 42-62.
@article{81f2f525659c4326a3f1177c1c72b186,
title = "Predicting Romantic Interest at Zero Acquaintance: Evidence of Sex Differences in Trait Perception but Not in Predictors of Interest",
abstract = "We evaluated five competing hypotheses about what predicts romantic interest. Through a half-block quasi-experimental design, a large sample of young adults (i.e. responders; n = 335) viewed videos of opposite-sex persons (i.e. targets) talking about themselves, and responders rated the targets' traits and their romantic interest in the target. We tested whether similarity, dissimilarity or overall trait levels on mate value, physical attractiveness, life history strategy and the Big Five personality factors predicted romantic interest at zero acquaintance and whether sex acted as a moderator. We tested the responders' individual perception of the targets' traits, in addition to the targets' own self-reported trait levels and a consensus rating of the targets made by the responders. We used polynomial regression with response surface analysis within multilevel modelling to test support for each of the hypotheses. Results suggest a large sex difference in trait perception; when women rated men, they agreed in their perception more often than when men rated women. However, as a predictor of romantic interest, there were no sex differences. Only the responders' perception of the targets' physical attractiveness predicted romantic interest; specifically, responders' who rated the targets' physical attractiveness as higher than themselves reported more romantic interest.",
keywords = "attraction, Big Five personality factors, life history strategy, mate value, multilevel model, polynomial regression, response surface analysis, social relations model, trait perception",
author = "Olderbak, {Sally G.} and Frederic Malter and Wolf, {Pedro Sofio Abril} and Jones, {Daniel N.} and Figueredo, {Aurelio J}",
year = "2017",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1002/per.2087",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "31",
pages = "42--62",
journal = "European Journal of Personality",
issn = "0890-2070",
publisher = "John Wiley and Sons Ltd",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Predicting Romantic Interest at Zero Acquaintance

T2 - Evidence of Sex Differences in Trait Perception but Not in Predictors of Interest

AU - Olderbak, Sally G.

AU - Malter, Frederic

AU - Wolf, Pedro Sofio Abril

AU - Jones, Daniel N.

AU - Figueredo, Aurelio J

PY - 2017/1/1

Y1 - 2017/1/1

N2 - We evaluated five competing hypotheses about what predicts romantic interest. Through a half-block quasi-experimental design, a large sample of young adults (i.e. responders; n = 335) viewed videos of opposite-sex persons (i.e. targets) talking about themselves, and responders rated the targets' traits and their romantic interest in the target. We tested whether similarity, dissimilarity or overall trait levels on mate value, physical attractiveness, life history strategy and the Big Five personality factors predicted romantic interest at zero acquaintance and whether sex acted as a moderator. We tested the responders' individual perception of the targets' traits, in addition to the targets' own self-reported trait levels and a consensus rating of the targets made by the responders. We used polynomial regression with response surface analysis within multilevel modelling to test support for each of the hypotheses. Results suggest a large sex difference in trait perception; when women rated men, they agreed in their perception more often than when men rated women. However, as a predictor of romantic interest, there were no sex differences. Only the responders' perception of the targets' physical attractiveness predicted romantic interest; specifically, responders' who rated the targets' physical attractiveness as higher than themselves reported more romantic interest.

AB - We evaluated five competing hypotheses about what predicts romantic interest. Through a half-block quasi-experimental design, a large sample of young adults (i.e. responders; n = 335) viewed videos of opposite-sex persons (i.e. targets) talking about themselves, and responders rated the targets' traits and their romantic interest in the target. We tested whether similarity, dissimilarity or overall trait levels on mate value, physical attractiveness, life history strategy and the Big Five personality factors predicted romantic interest at zero acquaintance and whether sex acted as a moderator. We tested the responders' individual perception of the targets' traits, in addition to the targets' own self-reported trait levels and a consensus rating of the targets made by the responders. We used polynomial regression with response surface analysis within multilevel modelling to test support for each of the hypotheses. Results suggest a large sex difference in trait perception; when women rated men, they agreed in their perception more often than when men rated women. However, as a predictor of romantic interest, there were no sex differences. Only the responders' perception of the targets' physical attractiveness predicted romantic interest; specifically, responders' who rated the targets' physical attractiveness as higher than themselves reported more romantic interest.

KW - attraction

KW - Big Five personality factors

KW - life history strategy

KW - mate value

KW - multilevel model

KW - polynomial regression

KW - response surface analysis

KW - social relations model

KW - trait perception

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85008485212&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85008485212&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/per.2087

DO - 10.1002/per.2087

M3 - Article

VL - 31

SP - 42

EP - 62

JO - European Journal of Personality

JF - European Journal of Personality

SN - 0890-2070

IS - 1

ER -