Review: Alternative mechanisms of nonindependent mate choice

David F. Westneat, Alena Walters, Thomas M. McCarthy, Margret I. Hatch, Wendy K. Hein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations


Aspects of the environment, including the social environment, can contribute to intrapopulation variation in mating preferences. One example of the effect of social environment on mate preferences is mate choice copying; however, other types of socially influenced (nonindependent) choice might exist. We develop a list of such alternatives based on possible physiological or psychological mechanisms, evaluate the evidence distinguishing one from another and clarify some controversial aspects of mate choice copying. This framework reveals many ways in which one female's mate choice can influence that of another, and suggests a broader array of hypotheses about the selective forces acting on such mechanisms. Because nonindependent choice can occur in a variety of ways, it could be more important for understanding patterns of mate choice than current theory suggests. (C) 2000 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-476
Number of pages10
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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