Why do humans form long-term mateships? An evolutionary game-theoretic model

Daniel Conroy-Beam, Cari D. Goetz, David M Buss

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Human long-term mating is an evolutionary mystery. Here, we suggest that evolutionary game theory provides three essential components of a good theory of long-term mating. Modeling long-term relationships as public goods games parsimoniously explains the adaptive problems long-term mating solved, identifies the novel adaptive problems long-term mating posed, and provides testable predictions about the evolved psychological solutions to these adaptive problems. We apply this framework to three adaptive problems long-term mating may have solved and generate novel predictions about psychological mechanisms evolved in response. Next, we apply the public goods framework to understand the adaptive problems produced by long-term mating. From these adaptive problems, we derive novel predictions about the psychology responsible for (1) selection and attraction of romantic partners, (2) evaluation of long-term relationships, and (3) strategic behavior within relationships. We propose that public goods modeling synthesizes adaptive problems at all stages of long-term mating-from their initiation through their maintenance and through their dissolution. This model provides an important tool for understanding the evolution and complex psychology of long-term committed mating.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Social Psychology
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Pages1-39
Number of pages39
Edition1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Social Psychology
Number1
Volume51
ISSN (Print)0065-2601

Fingerprint

Theoretical Models
Psychology
Game Theory
Maintenance

Keywords

  • Evolutionary game theory
  • Evolutionary psychology
  • Fecundity
  • Free-riding
  • Long-term mating
  • Mate value discrepancies
  • Parental investment
  • Public goods
  • Relationships
  • Satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

Cite this

Conroy-Beam, D., Goetz, C. D., & Buss, D. M. (2015). Why do humans form long-term mateships? An evolutionary game-theoretic model. In Advances in Experimental Social Psychology (1 ed., pp. 1-39). (Advances in Experimental Social Psychology; Vol. 51, No. 1). Academic Press Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.aesp.2014.11.001

Why do humans form long-term mateships? An evolutionary game-theoretic model. / Conroy-Beam, Daniel; Goetz, Cari D.; Buss, David M.

Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. 1. ed. Academic Press Inc., 2015. p. 1-39 (Advances in Experimental Social Psychology; Vol. 51, No. 1).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Conroy-Beam, D, Goetz, CD & Buss, DM 2015, Why do humans form long-term mateships? An evolutionary game-theoretic model. in Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. 1 edn, Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, no. 1, vol. 51, Academic Press Inc., pp. 1-39. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.aesp.2014.11.001
Conroy-Beam D, Goetz CD, Buss DM. Why do humans form long-term mateships? An evolutionary game-theoretic model. In Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. 1 ed. Academic Press Inc. 2015. p. 1-39. (Advances in Experimental Social Psychology; 1). https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.aesp.2014.11.001
Conroy-Beam, Daniel ; Goetz, Cari D. ; Buss, David M. / Why do humans form long-term mateships? An evolutionary game-theoretic model. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. 1. ed. Academic Press Inc., 2015. pp. 1-39 (Advances in Experimental Social Psychology; 1).
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