Mate Preferences and Mate Value
Mate choice requires comparing a constellation of preferences to an array of imperfect potential mates. How does a mate who is unintelligent compare to one who is unhealthy? Is it better to have a mate who is beautiful or kind? Our research explores how individuals integrate multiple preferences to evaluate potential mates and make decisions in the mating domain.
Mating Market Dynamics
The design of mate choice psychology can be obscured by the complex dynamics inherent to human mate choice. We use simulations of human mating markets to account for and manipulate these dynamics in order to clarify the psychology of mate choice and its consequences in realistic, complex mating markets.
Successfully navigating mating relationships requires solving a number of problems beyond initial mate choice: encouraging good behavior from your partner and discouraging bad behavior, switching to better relationships when they become available but discouraging your partner from doing the same, maintaining good relationships but dissolving bad relationships. We are interested in mapping the information processing design of the psychological systems that help us manage the many problems encountered in human mating relationships.
Mate Choice and Evolution
Mating psychology is both a key target and driver of biological evolution. We use agent-based models of mate choice evolution to understand both how evolutionary processes have shaped human mating psychology and ways in which human mating psychology may have shaped human evolution.