Nav: Home

Money really does matter in relationships

May 24, 2016

Our romantic choices are not just based on feelings and emotions, but how rich we feel compared to others, a new study published in Frontiers in Psychology has found.

"We wanted a better understanding of the psychological importance of money in the development of romantic relationships because very little is known about this subject. That way people would have a better perspective of the relationships they are in," explained Professor Darius Chan from the Department of Psychology, at the University of Hong Kong.

Two experiments were performed on groups of Chinese college students already involved in heterosexual long term relationships. The couples were made to think they were either wealthy or poor to examine their mating behavior.

In the first study they found the wealthy men were less satisfied with their current partners' physical attractiveness and were more interested in short-term relationships than those who were made to feel that they had less money. However, women who felt wealthy did not make higher demands regarding the men's physical appearance.

All of the wealthy participants in the second study found it easier to interact with an attractive member of the opposite sex than those belonging to a financially disadvantaged class. Interestingly and as expected, more men than women from both wealthy and poor conditions selected a closer seat to the more attractive people.

"We remarked that wealthy men attach more importance to a mate's physical attractiveness setting higher standards and preferring to engage in short-term mating than those who have less money. However, for committed women, money may lead to less variation in their mating strategies because losing a long-term relationship generally has a higher reproductive cost," explained Chan.

From an evolutionary perspective, conditional mating strategies helped our ancestors maximize their reproductive success.

However, by looking at how people reacted when they thought themselves to be wealthy or poor supports the evolutionary psychology hypothesis that individuals adopt conditional mating strategies in response to environmental conditions such as money possession.

Even though the study was applied to a specific culture, these psychological mechanisms still play important roles in human mating. "Whereas it remains as an empirical question to be answered, we expect that our findings are likely to be found in other cultures as well, because the basic mechanisms of mate selection have been found to be rather similar across culture," Chan said.
-end-


Frontiers

Related Relationships Articles:

Better quality relationships associated with reduced dementia risk
Positive social support from adult children is associated with reduced risk of developing dementia, according to a new research published today.
Contraception influences sexual desire in committed relationships
How often women in heterosexual couples desire sex depends on how committed the relationship is and what type of birth control the woman uses.
Health determined by social relationships at work
Recent research shows higher social identification with one's team or organization is associated with better health and lower stress.
Financial relationships between biomedical companies and organizations
Sixty-three percent of organizations that published clinical practice guidelines on the National Guideline Clearinghouse website in 2012 reported receiving funds from biomedical companies, but these relationships were seldom disclosed in the guidelines, according to a new study published by Henry Stelfox and colleagues from the University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada, in PLOS Medicine.
Money really does matter in relationships
Our romantic choices are not just based on feelings and emotions, but how rich we feel compared to others, a new study published in Frontiers in Psychology has found.
More Relationships News and Relationships Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans
More than test scores or good grades — what do kids need to prepare them for the future? This hour, guest host Manoush Zomorodi and TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, in and out of the classroom. Guests include educators Olympia Della Flora and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#535 Superior
Apologies for the delay getting this week's episode out! A technical glitch slowed us down, but all is once again well. This week, we look at the often troubling intertwining of science and race: its long history, its ability to persist even during periods of disrepute, and the current forms it takes as it resurfaces, leveraging the internet and nationalism to buoy itself. We speak with Angela Saini, independent journalist and author of the new book "Superior: The Return of Race Science", about where race science went and how it's coming back.