Structural relations among negative affect, mate value, and mating effort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We compared the ability of models based on evolutionary economic theory and Life History (LH) Theory to explain relations among self-reported negative affect, mate value, and mating effort. Method: Two hundred thirty-eight undergraduates provided multiple measures of these latent constructs, permitting us to test a priori predictions based on Kirsner, Figueredo, and Jacobs (2003). We compared the fit of the initial model to the fit of five alternative theory-driven models using nested model comparisons of Structural Equations Models. Rejecting less parsimonious and explanatory models eliminated the original model. Two equally parsimonious models explained the data pattern well. The first, based on evolutionary economic theory, specified that Negative Affect increases both Personal Mate Value and Mating Effort via the direct effects specified in the original model. The second, based on LH Theory, specified that Negative Affect, Personal Mate Value, and Mating Effort relate spuriously through a common latent construct, the LH Factor. The primary limitation of the present study is generalizability. We used self-reports taken from a young, university-based sample that included a spectrum of affective states. We cannot know how well these models generalize to an older population or to actual behavior. Both models predict the presence of a rich pattern of mate acquisition and retention behaviors, including an alarming set of behavioral tactics often not considered or targeted during treatment. Moreover, each model suggests a unique set of problems may arise after an effective intervention. We describe several ways to distinguish these models empirically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-397
Number of pages24
JournalEvolutionary Psychology
Volume7
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009

Fingerprint

Economics
Aptitude
Structural Models
Self Report
History
Population
Life History Traits

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Life History Theory
  • Mate value
  • Mating effort
  • Negative affect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

Structural relations among negative affect, mate value, and mating effort. / Kirsner, Beth Randi; Figueredo, Aurelio J; Jacobs, William J.

In: Evolutionary Psychology, Vol. 7, No. 3, 2009, p. 374-397.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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