Leveling the Playing Field

  title={Leveling the Playing Field},
  author={Lucy L. Hunt and Paul W. Eastwick and Eli J. Finkel},
  journal={Psychological Science},
  pages={1046 - 1053}
Clear empirical demonstrations of the theoretical principles underlying assortative mating remain elusive. This article examines a moderator of assortative mating—how well couple members knew each other before dating—suggested by recent findings related to market-based (i.e., competition) theories. Specifically, competition is pervasive to the extent that people achieve consensus about who possesses desirable qualities (e.g., attractiveness) and who does not. Because consensus is stronger… 

Figures from this paper

Consistency and Inconsistency Among Romantic Partners Over Time

Assessing how people’s actual romantic partners vary on constructs commonly assessed in evolutionary psychology, sociology, and close relationships advances understanding of this issue by assessing the extent to which the past and present partners of a focal person cluster on various measures.

Aspirational pursuit of mates in online dating markets

It is shown that competition for mates creates a pronounced hierarchy of desirability that correlates strongly with user demographics and is remarkably consistent across cities, and that strategic behaviors can improve one’s chances of attracting a more desirable mate.

Beauty and the Beast: Promotion Concerns and the Pursuit of Physically Attractive Mates.

The results highlight the significant roles of broad motivational concerns in determining both aspiration and chance to date a more physically attractive partner.

Same Same but Different: Similarity of Goals and Implicit Motives in Intimate Relationships

This work investigated the dyadic similarity of life goals and implicit motives, additionally examining relationship duration as an important predictor for similarity, and showed a positive relationship between the similarity in implicit motives and relationship duration.

“We All Play Pretty Much the Same, Except. . .”: Gender-Integrated Quidditch and the Persistence of Essentialist Ideology

We use the case of a recreational college Quidditch class to examine the consequences of gender-integrated sport for gender essentialist ideology. Data include ethnographic observations and course

Race, Romantic Attraction, and Dating

Here are two widely held positions on the ethics of dating: First, people are generally morally justified in excluding people they don’t find attractive from their dating pool. Second, people are not

The Emerging Integration of Close Relationships Research and Evolutionary Psychology

Romantic relationships are a central focus of scientific inquiry within two psychological literatures—those on close relationships and evolutionary psychology—yet attempts to bridge these topics have

ARRMA: An Integrative Theoretical and Mathematical Model of Assumed and Actual Dyadic Behavior

  • T. Malloy
  • Psychology
    Frontiers in Psychology
  • 2022
In dyadic interaction, do people share a common interpersonal reality? Each assumes the probable response of the other, observes the other’s actual response, and assess the veracity of assumptions.

When Do Family Ties Matter? The Duration of Female Suffrage and Women’s Path to High Political Office

While the percentage of female heads of state in the world has increased to around 10 percent in the 2010s, a female president or prime minister still remains an exception. Recent scholarship has



Relational mate value: consensus and uniqueness in romantic evaluations.

This article broadens mate value in 2 ways to incorporate relational perspectives: first, close relationships research suggests an alternative measure of mate value: whether someone can provide a high quality relationship; and second, person perception research suggests that both trait-based and relationship quality measures of matevalue should contain a mixture of target variance and relationship variance.

Assortative Meeting and Mating: Unintended Consequences of Organized Settings for Partner Choices

An important hypothesis about why people generally interact with people who are socially or culturally similar to themselves is that the opportunities they have to meet similar others are greater

Compatibility and the development of premarital relationships

This study contributes to the literature on compatibility in courtship by seeking to identify empirical links between social homogamy, similarity in leisure interests and role performance

Match makers and deal breakers: analyses of assortative mating in newlywed couples.

Assortative mating in a newlywed sample showed strong similarity in age, religiousness, and political orientation, but little similarity in matrix reasoning, self- and spouse-rated personality, emotional experience and expression, and attachment.

“Out of My League”: A Real-World Test of the Matching Hypothesis

Evidence for matching based on self-worth, physical attractiveness, and popularity is found, but to different degrees and not always at the same stage of the dating process.

Is human mating adventitious or the result of lawful choice? A twin study of mate selection.

It is proposed that it is romantic infatuation that commonly determines the final choice from a broad field of potential eligibles and that this phenomenon is inherently random, in the same sense as is imprinting in precocial birds.

Multivariate Models of Mixed Assortment: Phenotypic Assortment and Social Homogamy for Education and Fluid Ability

Two models are presented that consider phenotypic assortment and social homogamy simultaneously simultaneously, where selective associations between social background factors (Model I) versus selective association between total environments (Model II) distinguish the models.

The Role of Personality and Intelligence in Assortative Mating

The results showed strong assortative mating for intelligence and moderate for personality, and the strongest correlations for Personality were found in Openness, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness.