Male Deception in Short-Term Mating as a Function of Personality
Deception is one solution which evolved to solve the adaptive problem of obtaining a mate. This study investigated the nature of deception used by males in short-term mating and whether use of this strategy was related to the Five Factor Model. Participants (N = 104) completed questionnaires assessing intersexual and intrasexual deceptive acts, a personality adjective checklist, mating effort and mate value. Consistent with previous findings, males deceived in ways that corresponded with female mate selection criteria and to raise their dominance and competition among males. We predicted that an increase in deception for characteristics typical of a short-term strategy, i.e. extraverted males, high in mating effort and mate value. Two dimensions were found in the nature of deception used in mating; external appearance management and internal appearance management. Significant individual differences that moderated the use of deception were extraversion and openness. Low extraversion, high mating effort and extraverted males with increased perceived mate value predicted greater use of external appearance management. Internal appearance management was predicted by high extraversion and those low in openness scoring highly in mate value. Increased mating effort also predicted more internal appearance management for males low in openness and high in extraversion. These results are consistent with a deceptive personality and that of a male likely to pursue a short-term strategy, supporting the use of deception in short-term mating. Overall, this study contributes to research which investigates personality psychology from an evolutionary perspective and supports the role that individual differences in personality play in evolution.