Life History strategy and Evaluative Self-Assessment

Paul Robert Gladden, Aurelio José Figueredo, Brynn Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Life History (LH) theory describes the existence of individual differences in the optimal allocation of inherently limited bioenergetic and material resources towards different types of reproductive-enhancing activities. LH theory predicts that slow LH ("High-K") individuals are biased toward allocating resources toward enhancing the phenotypic quality (e.g., physical and mental health) of oneself and one's offspring. Sociometer theory suggests that self-esteem tracks an individual's level of social acceptance and inclusion. We examined the hypothesis that slow LH strategy positively predicts a more positive Evaluative Self-Assessment due to enhanced phenotypic quality. Participants completed questionnaires measuring their Life History (LH) strategies and a variety of measures of Self-Assessment (perceived mate value, perceived mating success, social economic exchange, positive and negative adjectives, global self-esteem, and collective self-esteem). An Exploratory Factor Analysis indicated that the measures of Evaluative Self-Assessment were best represented as a single latent factor. Slow LH strategy correlated moderately and positively with this Evaluative Self-Assessment factor. This relationship was not accounted for by socially desirable responding (self-deceptive enhancement or impression-management), sex, or age of participants. Consistent with Sociometer theory, we suggest that slow LH strategists exhibit high perceived self-worth due to increased social prestige and, relatedly, enhanced phenotypic quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)731-735
Number of pages5
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Evaluative Self-Assessment
  • Life History
  • Mate value
  • Self-esteem
  • Sociometer theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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