Don’t be fooled by the rock that I got

Don’t be fooled by the rock that I got

Anne Becker

Ladles, does the size of your ring show how much your fiance loves you? Don’t be too sure.

After surveying 1,000 recently married men and women, researchers found that, contrary to what they expected, the price of an engagement ring is not the best predictor of male commitment. And while women who received expensive rings generally saw them as an expression of their beau’s wish for a traditional wedding, the men reported no such desires.

Lee Cronk, associate professor of anthropology at Rutgers University in New Jersey, took an evolutionary approach: If ring-cost signals commitment, the cost would increase if other signs–such as a long courtship–were weak. He also predicted that younger women would receive more expensive rings as a signal of their value in potential fertility.

In fact, the opposite was true on both counts. Long-term girlfriends received costlier rings. Older men outspent younger men, but they also earned more and did not increase ring price proportionally. Cost doesn’t seem to mean much, says Cronk. “People may be over-interpreting rings as signals.”

COPYRIGHT 2003 Sussex Publishers, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group