Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Virtual Mate Poaching: A study of the tactics used to poach a potential mate on Social Networking Sites
by Parker, Heather A., Ph.D., Capella University, 2017, 145; 10261136
Abstract (Summary)

Mate Poaching is one strategy used for attracting a mate. Under principles of evolutionary theory, mating strategies are driven by inter-sexual selection and intra-sexual competition creating Sex specificity in the way strategies succeed or fail. The relatively recent emergence of the Internet raises questions about its interaction with evolutionary mechanisms that people use to attract a mate. The purpose of this study was to identify whether or not Mate Poaching exists within virtual Social Networking Sites (SNS), and whether or not poaching tactics used in a Face-to-Face Environment are still considered effective in a Virtual one. This study asked whether there was an association between the environment of Mate Poaching and the Sex of a poacher in three environments (Face-to-Face, Virtual, and Blended); the study also asks whether there is a significant interaction between the environment and Sex of a poacher on the Perceived Efficacy of three Mate Poaching tactics (Enhancing Physical Appearance, Demonstrating Resources, and Humor). The study consisted of a mixed design: Part one was a causal-comparative design answered with a modified Anonymous Romantic Attraction Survey (ARAS). Part two was an experimental design, randomly assigning participants to rate the Perceived Efficacy of 42 tactics from the Expanded Acts and Tactics from Schmitt and Buss (2001). The convenience sample (N=233) was drawn from adults 18 years or older who have had at least one romantic relationship in their lifetime, and were residents of the United States. The sample, consisting of 71 males and 162 females, was 84.1% heterosexual, and split evenly on marital status; ages ranged from 18 to 78, with a mean age of 40. Data were analyzed for part one with six chi-square tests of association, and part two with three two-way factorial ANOVAs. Part one found a significant association between Sex and Environment for “Have you ever poached?” in the Face-to-Face and Blended Environments. The Virtual Environment and all three (Face-to-Face, Virtual and Blended) Environments for “Have you frequently poached?” did not find a significant association with Sex. Part two found no significant interactions between Sex and environment on the Perceived Efficacy of the three tactics; there was a main effect of Sex on both Enhancing Physical Appearance and Demonstrating Resources, further confirming previous literature. There was no main effect of Sex or environment on the tactic of Humor, consistent with mixed results around this construct in the literature.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wowra, Scott
Commitee: Astin, John, Narveson, Ray
School: Capella University
Department: Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-B 78/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Behavioral psychology, Social psychology, Web Studies
Keywords: Evolutionary psychology, Mate poaching, Mating strategies, Quantitative
Publication Number: 10261136
ISBN: 9781369661941
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