When the women participants were reminded about loyalty to one partner - by putting their wedding ring back on their finger - they were less likely to seek variety in products.This suggests that loyalty in romantic relationships can translate to brand loyalty.

Fertile women seek more options in men and this drives their desire for alternative options as consumers, said the paper that appeared in the Journal of Consumer Research. "If you are open to checking out alternatives, you are simply more likely to find the best option and it turns out that the desire for alternatives in mate choice impacts other choice situations," wrote study authors Kristina M Durante and Ashley Rae Arsena from the University of Texas, San Antonio.

In one study, women reported how interested they were in men other than their current partner and were then asked to choose five candy bars from nine different brands.
The study was conducted when they were ovulating and then repeated when they were not ovulating. The majority of participants chose a greater variety of candy bars when they were ovulating.

"From candy bars and restaurants to lipstick and high heel shoes, women are more open to alternatives for one week a month," the authors noted.

In order to find the best mate, a woman needs to assess the attractiveness of alternatives and be open to switching partners, and this also leads to a greater openness to trying new products.

For about a week every month, normally cycling women may be especially likely to respond to appeals by competing brands to switch. Female consumers might choose to try new products and experiences depending on when they make the decision.

"Ads that appeal to motivations to attract a desirable partner or remain loyal to a current partner are also likely to alter desire for variety and novelty in product choice," the authors concluded.


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