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What people said and did in choosing romantic partners were two different matters."True to the stereotypes, the initial self-reports of male participants indicated that they cared more than women about a romantic partner's physical attractiveness, and the women in the study stated more than men that earning power was an aphrodisiac," said Paul Eastwick, lead author of the study and graduate student in psychology in the Weinberg School of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern.

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"Most noteworthy, the earning-power effect as well as the good-looks effect didn't differ for men and women." Participants' preferences based on their live romantic interactions contrasted with the ideal sex-differentiated preferences that they reported 10 days before the speed-dating event.

"We found that the romantic dynamics that occurred at the speed-dating event and during the following 30-day period had little to do with the sex-differentiated preferences stated on the questionnaires," said Finkel.

The speed dating methodology gave the researchers an opportunity not available to earlier generations of researchers to compare stated romantic preferences with actual choices participants made about a series of potential partners.

--- When it comes to romantic attraction men primarily are motivated by good looks and women by earning power.

At least that's what men and women have been saying for a long time.

Based on research that dates back several decades, the widely accepted notion permeates popular culture today.But those sex differences didn't hold up in a new in-depth study of romantic attraction undertaken by two Northwestern University psychologists.In short, the data suggest that whether you're a man or a woman, being attractive is just as good for your romantic prospects and, to a lesser extent, so is being a good earner."Sex Differences in Mate Preferences Revisited: Do People Know What They Initially Desire in a Romantic Partner?" was published in the February issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.For a month, the romantic lives of study participants were scrutinized, including their prospects within and outside of a speed-dating event.

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