Lewis Honors College Capstone Collection

Year of Publication



Business and Economics


Marketing and Supply Chain

Degree Name

Bachelor of Business Administration

First Capstone/Thesis Advisor

Dr. Adam Craig


Relationships are connections between two or more people, which determine how they behave toward one another. Romantically speaking, relationships can become more complex. With the high levels of interference from people outside the relationship added to the personality traits of each individual within, romantic relationships may suffer or face difficulties over time. Mate retention behaviors are based on a variety of factors, but this study specifically focuses on the effects of threat perception in the presence of competition for females. By surveying females in a relationship, the information on attachment styles and threat perception was collected. By using a female data collector, the threat factor was tested as the collector was dressed in a “threatening” way for half of the surveys and dressed in a “non-threatening way” for the other half. Threat perception was measured by observing responses to questions about financial situations. This allowed for the assessment of how willing a woman would be to share money with her partner based on the presence of competition. It was hypothesized that a female surveyed would be more likely to share money with her partner if she found the data collector as a threat. Data was generated by surveying a wide range of respondents and asking a variety of questions regarding financial sharing habits, attachment style, and expected actions in response to given situations. When comparing the responses from the presence of both low and high threat levels, a conclusion can be drawn about an individual’s confidence within their relationship, as well as their spending and sharing habits. The experiment results show that females in relationships are unaffected by the competitive presence of another female when making monetary decisions regarding their partner.