Same-sex gaze attraction influences mate-choice copying in humans. Academic Article uri icon


  • Mate-choice copying occurs when animals rely on the mating choices of others to inform their own mating decisions. The proximate mechanisms underlying mate-choice copying remain unknown. To address this question, we tracked the gaze of men and women as they viewed a series of photographs in which a potential mate was pictured beside an opposite-sex partner; the participants then indicated their willingness to engage in a long-term relationship with each potential mate. We found that both men and women expressed more interest in engaging in a relationship with a potential mate if that mate was paired with an attractive partner. Men and women's attention to partners varied with partner attractiveness and this gaze attraction influenced their subsequent mate choices. These results highlight the prevalence of non-independent mate choice in humans and implicate social attention and reward circuitry in these decisions.

published proceedings

  • PLoS One

altmetric score

  • 72.978

author list (cited authors)

  • Yorzinski, J. L., & Platt, M. L.

citation count

  • 38

complete list of authors

  • Yorzinski, Jessica L||Platt, Michael L

editor list (cited editors)

  • Reby, D.

publication date

  • February 2010