Value-directed information search in partner choice

Hongyi Wang, Jiaxin Ma, Lisheng He
2022 Judgment and Decision Making  
It is a widely held view that people rely on incomplete information to find a relationship partner, resulting in non-compensatory choice heuristics. However, recent experimental work typically finds that partner choice follows compensatory choice strategies. To bridge this gap between theory and experimental evidence, we characterize the mate choice problem by distinguishing the information search process from the evaluation process. In an eye-tracking experiment and a MouseLab experiment, we
more » ... ow that people display strong value-directed search heuristics in response to all types of cues and that the magnitude of value-directed searches increases with cue primacy. Cue primacy also explains the interaction effect of cue type and participant sex on the extent of valued-directed search. We further argue that value-directed searching does not necessarily lead to non-compensatory choice rules but may serve compensatory decision-making. Our results demonstrate that people may adopt remarkably smart search heuristics to find an ideal partner efficiently.
doi:10.1017/s1930297500009426 fatcat:yrrmzk3uqvfjvgf3cao4x53uvm