Love is in the air ... if the statistics are right.
Statistical analysis of behaviour is just about the polar opposite of romance and spontaneity, but that hasn't stopped numerous scientists from analysing every aspect of love, romance and relationships.
Here are a few of their findings...
1) Fear increases attractiveness
|A Valentine's Day card optimised for effective results.|
An attractive woman approached single young men on the bridge under the pretence of asking them to assist in a psychology experiment. However, the real experiment came after the test, when the woman gave the men her phone number and invited them to call her if they wanted to know more about her research.
13 out of 20 men later called her, although obviously they were more interested in the attractive woman than her research. The experiment was then repeated in a safe environment (on a park bench) and this time only 7 out of 23 men called her; a drop from 65% down to 30%, suggesting a strong link between increased fear and increased attraction.
The scientists concluded that a situation which promotes strong emotions of one kind can lead to different emotions also being increased, which could explain why the men on the creaky bridge were more than twice as likely to be attracted to the woman than the men on the park bench.
So if you're about to ask someone out and you're wondering where to go for your first date, perhaps a horror movie might be a surprisingly wise choice!
2) Play hard to get or easy to get?
|Scientists have analysed cupid's arrow.|
One experiment in Nevada revealed that men were less interested in women who were uniformly hard to get with all men. However, the research also revealed that men were far more attracted to women who were selectively hard to get/easy to get in their favour, i.e. woman who were disinterested towards most men, but pleasant and friendly towards them.
The obvious conclusion is that most men are perhaps not particularly confident, so we presumably like women to give us a few subtle clues to help boost our confidence and interest. And of course, showing interest in one specific person, and acting disinterested to everyone else, is a big compliment if you're the person receiving the interest.
3) Attraction decreases anger
|The car you drive can affect your chances of being|
a victim of road rage ... as can sexily dressed passers-by.
The experiment revealed that 84% of drivers honked at the old banger, but only 50% of drivers honked at the expensive luxury car, suggesting that if you drive a posh car you're less likely to be a victim of road rage.
However, in a similar test, the experiment was repeated but this time a sexily dressed woman crossed the street between the two cars while they were waiting for the lights to turn green. Surprisingly, this led to male drivers developing a sudden sense of patience and this time they honked significantly less.
The scientists concluded that mild hormonal stimulation may reduce signs of aggression, but perhaps the men were just so distracted that they forgot to get angry.
The above experiments are described in more detail in the book, 'Elephants On Acid And Other Bizarre Experiments'. It's an extremely interesting book, so if you're fascinated by unusual science experiments then it's well worth a read. Be warned though, that on some occasions scientists have been complete idiots so a few of the chapters might get you angry at what idiot scientists have done under the guise of 'research'.
Elephants On Acid And Other Bizarre Experiments by Alex Boese