The mating sociometer: a regulatory mechanism for mating aspirations.


Two studies (Ns = 80 and 108) tested hypotheses derived from Kirkpatrick and Ellis's (2001) extension and application of sociometer theory to mating aspirations. Experiences of social rejection-acceptance by attractive opposite-sex confederates were experimentally manipulated, and the impact of these manipulations on self-esteem, mating aspirations, and friendship aspirations was assessed. Results indicated that social rejection-acceptance by members of the opposite sex altered mating aspirations; that the causal link between social rejection-acceptance and mating aspirations was mediated by changes in state self-esteem; and that the impact of social rejection-acceptance by members of opposite sex was specific to mating aspirations and did not generalize to levels of aspiration in approaching potential same-sex friendships. This research supports a conceptualization of a domain-specific mating sociometer, which functions to calibrate mating aspirations in response to experiences of romantic rejection and acceptance.

DOI: 10.1037/a0018188

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@article{Kavanagh2010TheMS, title={The mating sociometer: a regulatory mechanism for mating aspirations.}, author={Phillip S Kavanagh and Sarah C. Robins and Bruce J. Ellis}, journal={Journal of personality and social psychology}, year={2010}, volume={99 1}, pages={120-32} }