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Annotated Bibliography: Psychology of Adult Partner Preferences

1355 words (5 pages) Essay in Psychology

18/05/20 Psychology Reference this

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Romantic Partner Selection

Buss, D. M. (1989). Sex differences in human mate preferences: Evolutionary hypotheses tested in 37 cultures. Behavioral and Brain Science, 12(1), 1-14.

The study states that the existing information about partner preferences offers insight on the past input concerning human reproductivity. However, there is limited knowledge when it comes to the aspects that people value most when choosing life-long partners. The researcher has made five predictions to display the variability that exists between sexes when it comes to making an important decision of choosing a second half. Buss has focused on five main assumptions to cover sexual selection, parental investment, reproductive ability of an individual, and the aspect of either maternal or paternal certainty (1989). These predictions mainly concern how each gender esteems various features of a potential partner to include their earning capacity, productiveness, age, and physical attractiveness among other qualities (Buss, 1989). Overall, there have been 37 samples from 33 countries and six continents as well as five islands (Buss, 1989). The results have shown that women were moved by resource acquisition as the primary aspect of a future mate. On the other hand, men seemed to concentrate more on the reproductive capacity of their second halves. The variability that arises mirrors the existent pressures between genders when it comes to partner selection. Moreover, they indicate significant cross-cultural evidence of sex dissimilarities in the reproductive strategies. One key limitation of the study is underrepresentation of people. Especially, individuals from rural regions with low education status and poor socio-economic conditions were excluded. However, the question that arises is whether women link love to financial resources?

Gerlach, T., Arslan, R., Schultze, T., Reinhard, S., & Penke, L. (2017). Predictive validity and adjustment of ideal partner preferences across the transition into romantic relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 116(2), 313-330.

There has been a research done to investigate the characteristics that most people prefer when choosing a partner. However, there is a gap that remains when determining if these inclinations guide the choice in real-life situations. The main reason to explain the limited data is the lack of proper design that would accomplish the study. On balance, one would require assessing the desired aspects of a potential associate before dating and up to marriage. It is for this purpose that the researchers have applied Göttingen Mate Choice Study (GMCS) (Gerlach, Arslan, Schultze, Reinhard, & Penke, 2017). The GMCS model is a pre-registered online study that offers a large-scale realistic technique and the data collected has focused on four main aspects. The study sample included 763 heterosexual single people aged 18-40. Different from other investigations, the design has involved a follow up for approximately 150 days, which account for an average period for potential partners to begin a relationship (Gerlach et al., 2017). The results for both companions persisted with an exception of the vitality-attractiveness where male desire for beauty predicted the outcome of their future second half more that women’s. These aspects remained stable for the first five months of the follow up but became ambiguous for those who decided to enter a serious relationship. The analysis for this subgroup by using the newly developed indicator has shown that the participants’ preference was dynamic to suit the available partners. However, there was not adjustment made to fit with people who that demonstrated higher quality to exceed their expectations. The question that emerges is whether individuals change their inclinations for a romantic partner as they become more mature?

Holmes, B. M., & Johnson, K. R. (2009). Adult attachment and romantic partner preference: A review. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 26(6-7), 833-852.

The two authors compiled a literature review to explore the inconsistencies in studiesrelating to self-reported adult attachment to romantic partnerpreferences. It is clear that the existing works have tested different hypotheses to report distinct outcomes. The first one focuses on the belief that individuals choose mates who show similar attachment style,a complementary attachment style or the one that offers a higher level of security. However, research seems to agree with these assumptions as it posits that secure individuals would like similar associates. However, there is a form of discrepancy noted when reviewing different types of existing research regarding such preferences (Holmes & Johnson, 2009). There is enough evidence that claims that the working model is more pronounced during the first encounter and as the relationship grows to reach a romantic stage. The article, therefore, evaluates these findings by focusing onneeds for self-enhancement and self-consistency to relate to the second half’s likeability. The question that arises is whether the attachment style determines how long the relationship will last?

Sprecher, S., & Regan, P. C. (2002). Liking some things (in some people) more than others: Partner preferences in romantic relationships and friendships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 19(4), 34-56.

The article is an examination of the extent to which different characteristics remain desirable when it comes to multiple types of potential romantic partners. The sample for the study included 700 men and women. The main types that the study relied on included marriage, casual sex, dating partners as well as friends of the same and opposite sex. Moreover, the researchers have identified the significance of wanting an associate with the desired level of each characteristic. Most participants opted for openness, kindness and a sense of humour. They, however, clearly distinguished between romantic relationships and friendships (Sprecher & Regan, 2002). Other most prioritised aspects include beauty, social and personality status. However, the latter were most valued in a romantic partner that in a friend. There was a great difference when it came to the two kinds of friends studied. The question that arises from the article is whether people hold the same value for different types of relationships outlined?

Taylor, L. D. (2013). Male partner selectivity, romantic confidence, and media depictions of partner scarcity. Evolutionary Psychology, 11(1), 36-49.

Taylor conducted an experiment with the aim of exploring the impact of either partner scarcity or abundance on the decision-making process for choosing a life associate. The aspects scrutinised included romantic confidence and self-assessed attractiveness. The investigation instated undergraduate males to watch different types of programs that would influence their decision-making. The first narrative used two men characters who competed over one potential female to show the impact of scarcity. Similarly, another arrangement was about two women rivalling over one male to signify abundance. The control subject watched a narrative that showed reduced romantic confidence (Taylor, 2013). Results have indicated that the experimental conditions affected the decision-making process when it came to selecting a second half. However, the effects were controlled by the ideology of traditionally perceived masculinity that supported male chauvinism. The research question that arises is how the abundance of romantic partners increases the probability of making an undesired choice?

References

  • Buss, D. M. (1989). Sex differences in human mate preferences: Evolutionary hypotheses tested in 37 cultures. Behavioral and Brain Science, 12(1), 1-14.
  • Gerlach, T., Arslan, R., Schultze, T., Reinhard, S., & Penke, L. (2017). Predictive validity and adjustment of ideal partner preferences across the transition into romantic relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 116(2), 313-330.
  • Holmes, B. M., & Johnson, K. R. (2009). Adult attachment and romantic partner preference: A review. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 26(6-7), 833-852.
  • Sprecher, S., & Regan, P. C. (2002). Liking some things (in some people) more than others: Partner preferences in romantic relationships and friendships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 19(4), 34-56.
  • Taylor, L. D. (2013). Male partner selectivity, romantic confidence, and media depictions of partner scarcity. Evolutionary Psychology, 11(1), 36-49.
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