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Non-Independent Mate Choice in Female Humans (Homo sapiens): Progression to the Field 
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Biology Education Centre.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

There is much evidence that mate-choice decisions made by humans are affected by social/contextual information. Women seem to rate men portrayed in a relationship as more desirable than the same men when portrayed as single. Laboratory studies have found evidence suggesting that human mate choice, as in other species, is dependent on the mate choice decisions made by same-sex rivals. Even though non-independent mate choice is an established and well-studied area of mate choice, very few field studies have been performed. This project aims to test whether women’s evaluation of potential mates desirability is dependent/non-independent of same-sex rivals giving the potential mates sexual interest. This is the first field study performed in a modern human’s natural habitat aiming to test for non- independent mate choice in humans.

No desirability enhancement effect was found. The possibilities that earlier studies have found an effect that is only present in laboratory environments or have measured effects other than non-independent mate choice are discussed. I find differences in experimental design to be the most likely reason why the present study failed to detect the effect found in previous studies. This field study, the first of its sort, has generated important knowledge for future experimenters, where the most important conclusion is that major limitations in humans ability to register and remember there surrounding should be taken in consideration when designing any field study investigating human mate choice. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 47 p.
Keyword [en]
Non-independent mate choice, Mate choice copying, Human mate choice, Social transmission.
National Category
Ecology Evolutionary Biology Other Biological Topics
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-278236OAI: diva2:906332
External cooperation
Department of Psychology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Educational program
Master Programme in Biology
Available from: 2016-02-24 Created: 2016-02-24 Last updated: 2016-02-24Bibliographically approved

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