When Love Meets Money: Priming the Possession of Money Influences Mating Strategies

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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. Money is an important factor that influences the development of romantic relationships. The current paper examines how the feeling of having relatively more or less money influences human mating strategies in long-term and short-term mating contexts under the framework of evolutionary psychology. We recruited mainland Chinese college students involved in steady, heterosexual romantic relationships to participate in two experiments. Results of Study 1 showed that men who were primed to feel that they had relatively more money were less satisfied with their partners' physical attractiveness than those primed to feel that they had less money, suggesting that the subjective feeling of having more or less money may affect men's preferences regarding the physical appearance of a mate in a long-term relationship. Interestingly, this difference was not significant for women. This finding suggests that people who feel they have relatively more money may have more interest in an attractive alternative than those who feel they have relatively less money. The differences in mating strategies between and within the genders brought about by money support the evolutionary hypothesis that individuals adopt conditional mating strategies in response to environmental conditions.

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