On the psychometric study of human life history strategies: state of the science and evidence of two independent dimensions

G. B. (George) Richardson, B. K. (Blair) Sanning, M. H. C. (Mark) Lai, Lee Copping, Patrick H. Hardesty, Daniel J. Kruger

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Abstract

This article attends to recent discussions of validity in psychometric research on human life history strategy (LHS), provides a constructive critique of the extant literature, and describes strategies for improving construct validity. To place the psychometric study of human LHS on more solid ground, our review indicates that researchers should (a) use approaches to psychometric modeling that are consistent with their philosophies of measurement, (b) confirm the dimensionality of life history indicators, and (c) establish measurement invariance for at least a subset of indicators. Because we see confirming the dimensionality of life history indicators as the next step toward placing the psychometrics of human LHS on more solid ground, we use nationally representative data and structural equation modeling to test the structure of middle adult life history indicators. We found statistically independent mating competition and Super-K dimensions and the effects of parental harshness and childhood unpredictability on Super-K were consistent with past research. However, childhood socioeconomic status had a moderate positive effect on mating competition and no effect on Super-K, while unpredictability did not predict mating competition. We conclude that human LHS is more complex than previously suggested—there does not seem to be a single dimension of human LHS among Western adults and the effects of environmental components seem to vary between mating competition and Super-K.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0
Pages (from-to)0
Number of pages24
JournalEvolutionary Psychology
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

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