Date of Graduation

Spring 2017


Master of Science in Psychology



Committee Chair

Bogdan Kostic


desirability judgments, attractiveness ratings, mate-choice copying, sexual orientation, evolutionary psychology

Subject Categories

Cognition and Perception | Experimental Analysis of Behavior


Mate-choice copying is a mating strategy where females rely on contextual information to assist in securing accurate assessments of potential mates. Mate-choice copying has been extensively studied in non-human species, and has begun to be examined in humans as well. The desirability enhancement effect occurs when women judge men surrounded by opposite-sex females as more attractive than those same men alone or with same-sex males. The desirability diminution effect occurs when men judge women surrounded by opposite-sex males as less desirable than those same women alone or with same-sex females. The current project replicated previous findings concerning the desirability enhancement and diminution effect, and extended these findings to investigate homosexual participants. Homosexual men exhibited the desirability enhancement effect, as do heterosexual women, and homosexual women exhibited the desirability enhancement effect, as do heterosexual men, revealing differences across sexual orientation in human mate-choice copying.


© John E. Scofield

Open Access