Women seek more variety in rewards when closer to ovulation
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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We propose that women's increased generalized sensitivity to rewards during the fertile phase of the menstrual cycle causes them to seek more variety in rewards when they are in the fertile phase than when they are not in the fertile phase of the cycle. In Studies 1–3, across the reward domains of mating and hedonic food, we show that women seek more variety in rewards when closer to ovulation. Moreover, we provide support for the proposition that women's increased reward sensitivity during the fertile phase of the menstrual cycle causes their greater variety seeking. Specifically, in Study 3, we show that fertile women's greater variety seeking does not extend to non-rewards, such as non-hedonic food. Our findings suggest that behavioral effects of women's hormonal shifts during the menstrual cycle are not limited to the mating domain and may extend to a wide category of reward domains.
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