The links between self-perceptions of mate value and partner ideal standards in intimate relationships : carving the intimate relationship mind at its joints. (2003)
This research investigated the links between self-perceptions and partner ideals, taking into account the multiple domains in which people evaluate these two constructs. In Study 1, 200 participants (100 males and 100 females) rated their ideal partner and their self-perceived mate value on the Partner Ideals Scales developed by Fletcher et al. (1999). Confirmatory factor analyses (CF A) confirmed the superiority of a hierarchical, domain-specific model of self-perceptions and partner ideals over a global model of the cognitive representation of selfperceived mate value and partner ideals. Discriminant and convergent correlations between self-perceived mate value and partner ideals were calculated across the three ideal categories (Warmth/Loyalty, Vitality/Attractiveness, and Status/Resources). The findings provide evidence for the hypothesis that people desire a partner who resembles the self and provide validity for both variables. In Study 2, self-perceptions of 149 students (77 men and 72 women) were manipulated upwards or downwards on Vitality/ Attractiveness or Status/Resources. The manipulation succeeded in significantly altering self-perceptions of mate value. However, contrary to predictions, partner ideal ratings were relatively impervious to the manipulation. Implications for the causal links between self-perceptions and ideal standards, their cognitive representations, and the implications of the results with regard to evolutionary approaches, the Ideal Standards Model, and mate selection are discussed.
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