Mate Preferences Questionnaire


Author of Tool: 

Buss, D.

Key references: 

Buss, D. M. (1989). Sex differences in human mate preferences: Evolutionary hypotheses tested in 37 cultures. Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 12, 1-49.

Shackelford TK, Schmitt DP, Buss DM (2005) Universal dimensions of human mate preferences. Pers Indiv Diff 39:447–458.

Primary use / Purpose: 

Assesses which characteristics people value in potential mates.


Mate preferences acquire importance in at least three scientific contexts. One of these is that they can affect the current direction of sexual selection by influencing who is differentially excluded from and who is included in mating. Favored mate characteristics that show some heritability will typically be represented more frequently in subsequent generations. Because of the powerful reproductive consequences of preferential mating, it is reasonable to assume that mate preferences will depart from randomness and evolve through sexual selection. The Mate Selection Questionnaire requires respondents to rate 18 characteristics on how important or desirable each would be in choosing a mate. A four-point scale was used.



PDF iconMate Preferences Questionnaire

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