Nonindependent mate choice: the first study with real-life couples in a Greek sample
In humans, as in other species, nonindependent mate choice takes place when females are influenced in their mate choice by the choices of other females. Previous studies have used almost exclusively experimental methods, with the most robust finding being that women tend to be more attracted to men who are paired with attractive women. Results, however, have often been conflicting, and the degree to which experimental methods are capturing real-life social processes has not been validated. In this study a self-report questionnaire was administered to a sample of young Greek men and women who were in monogamous romantic relationships. Participants also provided facial photographs of themselves that were rated for attractiveness. Men in these relationships tended to report more perceived opposite-sex interest than their partners, though this difference was not as clear or strong as expected. Furthermore the degree to which men - and women - reported opposite-sex interest was not related to the attractiveness of their partners. We discuss what might account for these unexpected results and suggest ways for improving the current methodology.