The Role of Overconfidence in Romantic Desirability and Competition

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Murphy, Sean C
von Hippel, William
Dubbs, Shelli L
Angilletta, Michael J
Wilson, Robbie S
Trivers, Robert
Barlow, Fiona Kate
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2015
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Abstract

Four studies and a computer simulation tested the hypothesis that people who are overconfident in their self-assessments may be more successful in attracting mates. In Study 1, overconfident people were perceived as more confident in their dating profiles, and this perceived confidence predicted increased romantic desirability. Study 2 revealed that overconfident people also tend to be perceived as arrogant, which counteracts the positive effects of perceived confidence. However, Study 3 revealed that overconfidence might confer an advantage in intrasexual competition, as people were less likely to compete with overconfident individuals by virtue of their perceived confidence and arrogance. Study 4 showed that overconfident raters were also more likely to choose to compete for romantic partners. In Study 5, agent-based modeling incorporating the coefficients from these studies suggested that overconfidence facilitates mate acquisition in the presence of intrasexual competition.

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Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

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41

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8

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Cognitive and computational psychology

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