Theory-Driven Assessment of Intrasexual Rivalry

  • Farzan Karimi-MalekabadiEmail author
  • Elahe Ghanbarian
  • Reza AfhamiEmail author
  • Razieh Chegeni
Research Article


Assessment of intrasexual competition has largely relied on Intrasexual Competition Scale (ICS; Buunk & Fisher Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 7:37–48, 2009). Based on recent developments in mating psychology and the notion that humans use multiple tactics to compete with same-sex individuals, we propose a new theory-driven assessment strategy for intrasexual rivalry in men and women. Here, we develop and initially validate the 16-item Intrasexual Rivalry Scale (IRS). Eight items represented self-promoting tactics in four mating areas and eight items represented rival-derogatory tactics in the same mating areas. We pre-registered our study design and statistical strategy and recruited a community sample in a non-Western culture, Iran. Consistent with our theoretical expectation, exploratory factor analysis (N = 211) clearly suggested extraction of two distinct factors (self-promotion and rival-derogation). Results suggested that scores on the ICS are strongly correlated with rival-derogation, but only weakly associated with self-promotion. Findings are explained in the light of evolutionary psychological perspective and future directions with the newly developed scale are outlined.


Intrasexual competition Evolutionary psychology Scale development Factor analysis Sex differences 



The authors would like to thank Mohammad Atari for valuable feedback on earlier versions of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTarbiat Modares UniversityTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TehranTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Art StudiesTarbiat Modares UniversityTehranIran
  4. 4.Department of Psychosocial ScienceUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

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