Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Personality and Mate Poaching

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1750-1



Mate poaching is a behavior intended to attract someone who is already in a romantic relationship in order to form a short- or long-term mating alliance with her/him.


Mate poaching is a frequent and potent form of romantic attraction in humans throughout the world (Schmitt et al. 2004; Schmitt and Shackelford 2008). Research on the large sample of participants from 53 nations across the 10 world regions has found that around 60% of men and 40% of women admitted trying to poach someone else’s partner for short-term sexual relationship or a new long-term mating alliance, while nearly 70% of participants reported that someone had tried to poach them either for short-term or long-term relationship (Schmitt et al. 2004). Identifying personal characteristics related to mate poaching is an important step in understanding its causes and consequences. Namely, personality traits are related to the creation of adaptive problems, as...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of PsychologyUniversity of RijekaRijekaCroatia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Brian B Boutwell
    • 1
  1. 1.Saint Louis UniversitySaint LouisUSA