Chu, Simon, Farr, Danielle, Munoz, Luna and Lycett, John E.
Interpersonal trust and market value moderates the bias in women’s preferences away from attractive high-status men.
Personality and Individual Differences, 51
Women appear to exhibit a subtle reluctance to engage in long-term relationships with physically attractive, high-status men. We propose that this bias away from men of very high market value is based on fear that these males may desert a relationship and also on the comparative self-perceived market value of the women. Therefore, interpersonal trust and perceived market value should moderate the extent of this counterintuitive bias. To test this proposal, we asked women with varying levels of interpersonal trust and self-perceived desirability to consider physically-attractive and physically-average men of high, medium and low socioeconomic status and rate each in terms of attractiveness as a long-term partner. Results showed that women’s perceptions of their own desirability and their level of trust predicted their ratings of men with high-value in the mating market, and that women with high levels of both desirability and trust were less likely to show a bias away from high-value men. Interpersonal trust and desirability moderate the degree to which women find physically attractive men attractive as potential partners.
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