The effect of cognitive load on choice related affect and selection strategy in human mate choice
David Cooper Dissertation 2011.pdf (195.6Kb)
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Previous research has demonstrated that an increasing selection of choice, although perceived as more desirable, can result in lower levels of choice satisfaction due to increased effort required to make evaluations between alternatives. This effect, however, is not found in the context of human mate choice as well as in other studies on consumer research. This study investigates whether the experimental manipulation of cognitive load has an effect on the choice-related affect and selection strategy of participants when selecting a potential mate in an online dating context. No significant differences were found between the cognitive load group and control group, however differences were observed when the experimental group was separated into those who performed successfully or unsuccessfully in the cognitive load task. Those who performed less successfully were significantly less content with their choice and were significantly more likely to use noncompensatory strategies, whereas as those who performed successfully reported finding it easier to make their choice. Potential implications of participant’s cognitive ability in these findings are discussed, along with suggestions for future research to make experimental conditions more cognitively taxing.