ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (4): 609-626.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2017.00609

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The psychological effects of mating motive

SU Jinlong; SU Yanjie   

  1. (School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences and Beijing Key laboratory of Behavior and Mental Health, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China)
  • Received:2016-09-01 Online:2017-04-15 Published:2017-04-15
  • Contact: SU Yanjie, E-mail:


Evolutionary psychologists believe that human mental functions are adaptive and shaped by evolution. As an important evolutionary force, sexual selection plays important roles in the evolution of human mental functions. Mating motive is usually regarded as closely associated with sexual selection. By priming participants with vignettes or attractive opposite-sex faces to induce mating motive, studies have found that it could impact a wide range of cognitive processes, including attention, perception, memory, decision making, plus social behavior. Intrasexual selection, intersexual selection and parental investment are classic theories employed to explain the effects of mating motive. However, they fail to embrace the roles of culture and hierarchical selection. Also, more replications of studies and solid paradigms, plus behavioral and neurobiological data, are indispensable for establishing a psychological framework of mating motive.

Key words: evolutionary psychology, mating motive, sexual selection, priming, neurocomputational systems