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Human Mate Choice is a Complex System

The article “Examining the matching theory once more. An International Review of Research in Social and Personality Psychology “assesses how well the matching hypothesis holds up under scrutiny. The matching hypothesis states that individuals are more likely to create and sustain relationships with others who are similar to them in terms of physical appearance, social position, and other variables. The authors’ primary concern in this work is with “The issue of reverse matching requires a reexamination of the matching hypothesis. In “reverse matching,” two individuals who are otherwise quite different from one another in terms of their physical appearance, social position, and other characteristics intentionally create a connection with one another. This is troublesome because it may produce a misalignment in expectations, which can then lead to issues. Another drawback of reverse matching is that it may encourage more individuals to fall into unhealthy partnerships. People may put forth a lot of effort into relationships they are doomed to fail at (Kalick & Hamilton, 1986). The results of this may be detrimental to their sense of belonging in the world, their sense of self-worth, and their confidence. Taking into consideration the unfavorable effects of reverse matching motivated the development of a more intricate model for comparison with the original matching hypothesis model. When people are paired with the wrong person, it may cause misunderstandings and friction. Furthermore, reverse matching may increase the amount of individuals who engage into unhealthy partnerships. Therefore, individuals may waste their time and resources on relationships they are unable to keep alive.

This model makes advantage of recent advances in modeling, such as the capability to mimic a relationship’s development through time and the capacity to account for a person’s participation in numerous relationships at once. The model’s capacity to take into consideration a person’s potential involvement in numerous relationships at once is significant since it enables the model to more precisely depict the complexity of human mate choosing. In order for the model to more properly depict how relationships develop over time, it must be able to replicate the evolution of a connection through time (Smaldino & Schank, 2012). Each adjustment improves the model’s capacity to reflect the dynamic nature of interactions by shifting the probabilities associated with various outcomes. The model can then more accurately foresee how those connections will evolve in the future, which is why this is so crucial.

My thoughts on the findings of this study after reading the publication “The results of re-evaluating the matching hypothesis are inconclusive. While it may be true that individuals are more likely to create and sustain relationships with others who are similar to them in terms of physical appearance, social position, and other criteria, I believe the data utilized is inconsistent, and it is not obvious if the evidence supports this assumption. However, I believe that the matching hypothesis requires more investigation before being accepted as true. As the authors of “Human Mate Choice is a Complicated System” show, agent-based modeling in general reveals that the act of selecting a romantic partner is itself a complex system. What this implies is that the models used to investigate mating behavior are not oversimplified, and neither are the findings that are drawn from them. In light of this, it’s vital to approach the findings of any research on pairing preferences with skepticism. In conclusion, a more complicated model of mate choice is provided in the Human Mate Choice is a Complex System article, which may be utilized to conduct more precise research into the phenomena.


Kalick, S. M., & Hamilton, T. E. (1986). The matching hypothesis reexamined. Journal of personality and social psychology, 51(4), 673. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1987-04005-001

Smaldino, P. E., & Schank, J. C. (2012). Human mate choice is a complex system. Complexity, 17(5), 11-22. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/cplx.21382

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