Mate Choice

Mate choice research

A key behavioural priority for any sexual organism is finding a mate. Several Centre members investigate the dynamics of this process.

Martin Tovee’s research investigates empirically how aspects of the local ecology, such as resource availability and disease, might affect the judgements of attractiveness that people make. This uses an eye-tracker to measure which areas of the body are ‘hot-spots’ for making attractivness judgments.

John Lazarus investigates how judgements of attractiveness are affected by having potential mates that vary on several dimensions, such as wealth and beauty, which have to be traded off against one another.

Daniel Nettle tests evolutionary predictions about mate choice and mating success using large datasets from several human populations, including contemporary Britain, Guatemala, China and the USA of 1910.