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On the Existence of Optimal Level of Women’s Intelligence in Men’s Perception: Evidence from a Speed Dating Experiment

Deja, Dominik and Karbowski, Adam and Zawisza, Mateusz (2014): On the Existence of Optimal Level of Women’s Intelligence in Men’s Perception: Evidence from a Speed Dating Experiment.

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Abstract

We study gender differences in preferences for mate characteristics such as perceived physical attractiveness and intelligence using data from a speed dating experiment. We have observed that women give greater weight to perceived physical attractiveness than intelligence in their mating decisions. Probability of women’s positive speed dating decision rises with men’s perceived physical attractiveness (in this case we observe increasing marginal effects) and intelligence (with diminishing marginal effects). Marginal rate of substitution of men’s perceived physical attractiveness for intelligence is the highest for low levels of men’s perceived intelligence and the lowest for high values of men’s perceived intelligence. Men also give greater weight to perceived physical attractiveness than intelligence in their mating choices. Probability of men’s positive decision rises with women’s perceived physical attractiveness (in this case we observe diminishing marginal effects). The relationship between probability of men’s positive decision and women’s perceived intelligence is non-monotonic. The optimal level of women’s intelligence in men’s perception exists. This optimal value rises with women’s perceived physical attractiveness.

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