Sex, lies, and partner choice: An investigation into perceived mate value and its factor structure, content, concurrent, convergent, and discriminant validities
Mate value is an important concept in both the assortative mating and evolutionary psychology literatures. A valid self-report measure of mate value would be of tremendous utility to evolutionary psychology and beyond. To this end, three studies investigated the factor structure and validity of the Mate Value Inventory as well as the validity of the Mate Value Single Item Scale. Study one tested five possible factor structures for the MVI with a five-factor structure providing the best fit to the data. Additional data validated the five-factor MVI and the MVSIS by looking at content, concurrent, convergent, and discriminant validities. Study two applied the validated MVI and the MVSIS to the domain of mating preferences. Components of mate value moderated ideal and minimum mate characteristics as well as some of the ways in which a participant designed a mate under budgetary constraints. Study three applied the MVI and MVSIS to the domain of sex differences in jealousy and investigated whether mate value would moderate jealous responses to imagined infidelities. Several components of mate value moderated jealous responses to different jealousy scenarios. In conclusion, although the MVI and MVSIS have some evidence of validity and provide some utility as moderators in two evolutionary psychology domains, much work remains to be done in obtaining a truly valid self-report measure of mate value.