Abstract

Correlational research has linked low mate value (MV)--one’s worth as a mating partner to members of the opposite sex--with aggression in men. In 2 experiments, we examined the effects of self-perceived MV on men’s reported willingness to aggress directly toward a hypothetical mate poacher (Experiment 1, N = 60) and observable aggression toward a same-sex rival in a laboratory paradigm (Experiment 2, N = 54). In both experiments, the roles of narcissism in moderating the effect of MV condition on subsequent aggression were examined. Results of Experiment 1 indicated that men randomly assigned to the low MV condition were significantly more willing to report aggressive intention than men in the high MV condition. This relationship was moderated by narcissism such that men in the low MV condition who were also high in narcissism were the most likely to aggress. Results of Experiment 2 similarly showed that men in the low MV condition relative to the high MV condition aggressed more toward a same-sex rival when they were high in narcissism. These findings support evolutionary hypotheses surrounding the importance of self-perceived MV in directing aggressive mating efforts, as situated in the framework of threatened egotism.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.