Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'He loves me, he loves me not...': Women are more attracted to men whose feelings are unclear

Date:
February 7, 2011
Source:
Association for Psychological Science
Summary:
Are you still looking for a date for Valentine's Day? Here's some dating advice straight from the laboratory: It turns out there may be something to "playing hard to get." A new study finds that a woman is more attracted to a man when she is uncertain about how much he likes her.

Are you still looking for a date for Valentine's Day? Here's some dating advice straight from the laboratory: It turns out there may be something to "playing hard to get." A study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that a woman is more attracted to a man when she is uncertain about how much he likes her.

Related Articles


On the one hand, a lot of psychological research has found that person A usually likes person B about as much as they think person B likes them. "If we want to know how much Sarah likes Bob, a good predictor is how much she thinks Bob likes her," write the authors of the paper, Erin R. Whitchurch and Timothy D. Wilson of the University of Virginia and Daniel T. Gilbert of Harvard University. "But what if Sarah is not sure how much Bob likes her?" This might lead Sarah to spend a lot of time thinking about Bob, wondering how he feels, and she might find him more attractive the more she dwells on him.

Forty-seven female undergraduates at the University of Virginia participated in the study. Each student, who believed that the experiment was designed to study whether Facebook could work as an online dating site, was told that male students from two other universities had viewed her profile and those of 15 to 20 other females. Then the women were shown four men's Facebook profiles that they thought were real, but were actually fictitious. Some of the women were told they'd seen the four men who liked them the most; others were told these were four men who rated them about average. A third group were told the men could be either the ones who liked them most or the ones who liked them about average -- so those women didn't know about the level of the men's interest in them.

As other research has found, women who believed the men liked them a lot were more attracted to the men than women who thought the men liked them only an average amount. However, the women who found the men most attractive were the ones who weren't sure whether those men were into them or not.

"Numerous popular books advise people not to display their affections too openly to a potential romantic partner and to instead appear choosy and selective," the authors write. Women in this study made their decisions based on very little information on the men -- but in a situation not unlike meeting someone on an internet dating site, which is common these days. "When people first meet, it may be that popular dating advice is correct: Keeping people in the dark about how much we like them will increase how much they think about us and will pique their interest."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Psychological Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. E. R. Whitchurch, T. D. Wilson, D. T. Gilbert. "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not . . . ": Uncertainty Can Increase Romantic Attraction. Psychological Science, 2010; 22 (2): 172 DOI: 10.1177/0956797610393745

Cite This Page:

Association for Psychological Science. "'He loves me, he loves me not...': Women are more attracted to men whose feelings are unclear." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110207142623.htm>.
Association for Psychological Science. (2011, February 7). 'He loves me, he loves me not...': Women are more attracted to men whose feelings are unclear. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110207142623.htm
Association for Psychological Science. "'He loves me, he loves me not...': Women are more attracted to men whose feelings are unclear." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110207142623.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is studying the popular Music and Memory program to see if music, which helps improve the mood of Alzheimer's patients, can also reduce the use of prescription drugs for those suffering from dementia. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) Moms and Dads get a more hands-on approach to parenting with tech-centric products for raising their little ones. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Newsy (Oct. 27, 2014) Researchers have come up with another reason why dark chocolate is good for your health. A substance in the treat can reportedly help with memory. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

AFP (Oct. 27, 2014) Coding has become compulsory for children as young as five in schools across the UK. Making it the first major world economy to overhaul its IT teaching and put programming at its core. Duration: 02:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins