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Abstract

Mediators of the effects of other-profitable (e.g., sincere vs. irresponsible) or self-profitable (e.g., intelligent vs. unintelligent) traits on attraction were investigated. In Experiment 1 (N = 256), valence of a single other- or self-profitable trait was varied, and trust in, respect for, and attraction toward the partner were measured. The three constructs were distinct. Moreover, the effects of the other-profitable traits on attraction were solely mediated by trust, and those of the self-profitable traits were mediated more strongly by respect than trust. In Experiment 2 (N = 144), an other-profitable trait was crossed with the self-profitable one, and diagnosticity ratings of those traits for the partner's warmth and competence and the previous three responses were taken. The five constructs were empirically distinct. Although trust mediated the effect of other-profitable trait on attraction, there was a direct effect also. Respect was the sole mediator of the self-profitable trait effect. Theoretical and methodological implications of these findings are discussed. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.