This project uses a large dataset of Japanese marriage agency clients (n=51,000) with detailed information on their personal characteristics (verified by the agencies), their expressed desired characteristics of a prospective marriage partner as well as information on their attitudes towards family life and their successes and failures in partner search. In total the dataset contains 280 variables summarizing each client’s characteristics and expressed desires of a potential marriage partner, documents all their dating successes and failures for the past year and identifies couples who actually succeeded in getting married.
The level of detail of the data offers a rare opportunity to Test many of the hypotheses theoretically posited for human mate selection. The project will start with an investigation of the way singles try to strike the delicate balance between their ideal preferred traits and whom they realistically can hope to attract, as well as the steps they take to attract the best possible mate. It will then proceed to Test the applicability of two specific explanatory approaches to communication on the mating market, namely the full disclosure principle and signalling theory.