Title page for ETD etd-0415102-111440

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Stasio, Michael J.
URN etd-0415102-111440
Title Aspects of Cognition in Human Mate Selection
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
James H. Geer Committee Chair
Claire D. Advocat Committee Member
Jason L. Hicks Committee Member
  • Pathfinder
  • evolutionary psychology
  • cognition and sexuality
  • scaling mate preferences
  • mate selection
Date of Defense 2002-03-12
Availability unrestricted
Evolutionary perspectives on human mating have provided testable hypotheses regarding what qualities people desire in their mates and why they want them. One study was conducted to replicate previous findings in mate preference using a more sophisticated paired comparison methodology to develop scales. Paired comparison scaling generally replicated gender differences in mate preferences consistent with evolutionary predictions. Further, decision-making reaction time (ms) suggested the presence of an underlying psychological continuum of selection criteria. A series of studies were then conducted applying the information processing approach (IPA) to investigate attention and knowledge organization in mate preference. The dot-probe paradigm was used to measure attention to preference-relevant stimuli words; no effect of gender, mating context, or word type on reaction time (ms) was found. Finally, semantic networks generated by the Pathfinder algorithm revealed that men and women associated concepts into meanings about human mating in a way that partially supported evolutionary predictions.
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