Mate Selection Strategies and the Structure of Romantic Relationship Markets
Social scientists argue that two factors shape marriage and dating patterns: men and women’s preferences for partners, and the size and composition of the pool of potential mates. Yet little is known about people’s preferences for partners, their strategies for finding and attracting partners, and their willingness to compromise in the face of less attractive options. Also, despite decades of work on markets, scholars know little about how competition affects individuals’ success in partnering with a desirable match. Our goal is to conduct an empirically grounded analysis of individuals’ mate-seeking strategies, how these strategies differ across relationship markets, and how both strategies and size and composition of the market jointly shape market dynamics. The project may also reveal how “big data” can be used to develop nuanced models of human behavior, as well as aggregate consequences of that behavior.
Published article in Science Advances.