[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The distribution of age at first marriage shows well-known strong regularities across many countries and recent historical periods. We accounted for these patterns by developing agent-based models that simulate the aggregate behavior of individuals who are searching for marriage partners. Past models assumed fully rational agents with complete knowledge of the marriage market; our simulated agents used psychologically plausible simple heuristic mate search rules that adjust aspiration levels on the basis of a sequence of encounters with potential partners. Substantial individual variation must be included in the models to account for the demographically observed age-at-marriage patterns.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a model of human mate choice that shows how realistic population-level patterns of assortative mating can self-organize and emerge from the behavior of individuals using simple mate search rules. In particular, we model plausible psychological mechanisms for mate search and choice in a realistic social ecology. Through individual interactions, patterns emerge that match those observed in typical human societies, particularly with regard to correlated quality levels within couples, distributions of the ages at which couples mate, and effects of skewed sex ratios on these mating age distributions.
Artificial Life 02/2003; 9(4):403-17. · 1.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a conceptual framework for the study of mate choice in monogamous mating systems with non-negligible courtship time. Within this framework, we develop a mate choice model for the common case where individuals have a changing social network of potential partners. The performance and robustness of different agent strategies is evaluated, emphasizing the important role that courtship plays in mate choice. Specifically, the courtship period can be used by individuals to swap to better partners when they become available. We found that using courtship as a mechanism for holding partners before full commitment to mating provides strategic advantages relative to sequential search using aspiration levels. Moreover, simple heuristics that require little computation provide a degree of robustness to environmental (parameter) changes that is unattainable by strategies based on more extensive information processing. Our model produces realistic patterns of assortative mating (high within-couple mate value correlations) and rates of mating that match empirical data on human sexual/romantic relationships much more closely than previous accounts from biology and the social sciences.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a new model of human mate choice incorporating non-negligible courtship time. The courtship period is used by individu- als to strategically swap to better partners when they become available. Our model relies on realistic assumptions about human psychological constraints and the specifics of the human social environment to make predictions about population level patterns that are supported by em- pirical data from the social sciences.
Advances in Artificial Life, 6th European Conference, ECAL 2001, Prague, Czech Republic, September 10-14, 2001, Proceedings; 01/2001