How a supposedly ‘scientific study’ completely misunderstood the science of sexual attraction

What I’m going to look at in this article is the difference between the opinions, or conclusions, some psychologists have about what creates sexual attraction and what the opinions are of guys who have attracted women in real life, in real bars, really quite often.

Let’s see how the conclusions differ.

This article was originally published by BBC News.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/4909322.stm

“One hundred people aged from 22 to 45 went on five three-minute dates and were asked how they chose who to see again.

Psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman said the experiment showed that many women made decisions about prospective partners after just 30 seconds.

Most successful chat-up lines included ‘What’s your favourite pizza topping?’

The experts said looks were obviously a major factor and further research would be conducted into that area in weeks to come.

Almost 50% of women made decisions about potential mates after half a minute during the experiment, carried out at the city’s International Science Festival.

Professor Wiseman, of Hertfordshire University, said: “One in five men had made their minds up about a person within the first 30 seconds of meeting them, compared to about half of the women.

“The key thing, particularly as women are making up their minds so quickly, is that the opening line really matters.”

The academic said men and women adopted a “pretty similar approach” to chat-up lines.

However, some differences between the sexes were highlighted by the study.

“It tended to be the guys that used closed questions; ones that would elicit either a yes or no answer and that would be the end of the conversation,” he said.

“Our top male and female were using the same sort of chat-up lines, with topics that would make the person feel quite light-hearted.

“The most successful lines were ones which were impossible to answer with a simple yes or no, such as ‘What’s your favourite pizza topping?’ and ‘Who would you be if you were going on Stars In Their Eyes?’.

Professor Wiseman said at the other end of the spectrum, the worst chat-up lines included ‘I have a PhD in computing’ and ‘My best friend’s a helicopter pilot’.

“It’s very difficult to respond to these in an interesting or creative way,” he said.

The psychologist also found that those looking for a potential partner should steer clear of topics which could cause disagreement, such as favourite films.

He said: “We asked participants to talk about certain topics and when they spoke about films it was a disaster, I could just hear people arguing.

“No-one wanted to meet each other afterwards, mainly because men and women often disagree about the best types of films.

“But when you shifted the conversation to travel, everyone became a lot more energised and that ended in far more dates.”

So, what do you think? Do you think the psychologist’s findings and conclusions were accurate? Read on for our expert analysis – one that’s not based on controlled tests, in which the participants know they’re being analysed and judged, but instead based on real-life interactions that either ended positively or negatively.

Simple, reliable, real-world data.

Here is the article again, this time with our own thoughts on the experiment included.

“One hundred people aged from 22 to 45 went on five three-minute dates and were asked how they chose who to see again.

*** This kind of set-up is always going to produce warped, unrealistic results. Do you think people are going to give their real reasons for picking or not picking any particular person? Even if they do, they still won’t be able to truly identify WHY they chose the people they did. ***

Psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman said the experiment showed that many women made decisions about prospective partners after just 30 seconds.

*** And the same would apply to the men, although it’s unlikely the men would admit to that fact if asked. ***

Most successful chat-up lines included ‘What’s your favourite pizza topping?’

*** This makes sense. It’s an okay question which conforms to the rules of progressive questioning (open-ended questions which leave room for fun and detailed answers). This is something all socially proficient, attractive men instinctively know about***

The experts said looks were obviously a major factor and further research would be conducted into that area in weeks to come.

Almost 50% of women made decisions about potential mates after half a minute during the experiment, carried out at the city’s International Science Festival.

Professor Wiseman, of Hertfordshire University, said: “One in five men had made their minds up about a person within the first 30 seconds of meeting them, compared to about half of the women.

“The key thing, particularly as women are making up their minds so quickly, is that the opening line really matters.”

*** Every line matters, but it’s true that opening lines are important. Not only because an opening line can make or break a first impression, but also because – in this case – the participants knew that they had to judge their dates quickly, which is not something people consciously think in real-life. ***

The academic said men and women adopted a “pretty similar approach” to chat-up lines.

*** To have any ‘chat-up line’ would be a mistake. But we’ll assume they mean talking-style when they say ‘chat-up line’. ***

However, some differences between the sexes were highlighted by the study.

“It tended to be the guys that used closed questions; ones that would elicit either a yes or no answer and that would be the end of the conversation,” he said.

*** Perhaps it tended to be the guys with no skill that used closed questioning, which is a shame. Women can sometimes be better at asking questions because they understand the emotional reactions they want to create in the person they’re speaking to. That is not a generalization—it’s merely an observation. Some men ask good questions, some don’t. ***

“Our top male and female were using the same sort of chat-up lines, with topics that would make the person feel quite light-hearted.

“The most successful lines were ones which were impossible to answer with a simple yes or no, such as ‘What’s your favourite pizza topping?’ and ‘Who would you be if you were going on Stars In Their Eyes?’.

*** This conclusion holds up. Progressive, open-ended questions are always better than closed questions. And questions which elicit fun, positive-emotion-filled responses are even better. ***

Professor Wiseman said at the other end of the spectrum, the worst chat-up lines included ‘I have a PhD in computing’ and ‘My best friend’s a helicopter pilot’.

*** You don’t say!!! These lines would clearly be interpreted by the person hearing them as over-compensations on the part of the speaker. They’re arrogant statements. The speaker(s) obviously didn’t know how to subtly communicate that they have value without sounding arrogant or like they were overcompensating. ***

“It’s very difficult to respond to these in an interesting or creative way,” he said.

The psychologist also found that those looking for a potential partner should steer clear of topics which could cause disagreement, such as favourite films.

*** Wrong. They should steer clear of DISAGREEING, not of topics which could potentially cause disagreement. You can talk about almost anything, films included, and have a fun time with a girl. Disagreeing in a confrontational way is obviously a bad idea – but the guys in this experiment clearly didn’t know that. ***

He said: “We asked participants to talk about certain topics and when they spoke about films it was a disaster, I could just hear people arguing.

“No-one wanted to meet each other afterwards, mainly because men and women often disagree about the best types of films.

“But when you shifted the conversation to travel, everyone became a lot more energised and that ended in far more dates.”

*** When people talk about travel they think of positive emotions, past and prospective. That’s why travel proved to be a good topic of conversation. ***

As you can see, the psychologist’s findings were, in places, not that far from the truth. But they still completely missed the point of so much of what they think they discovered. They only scratched the surface of a planet sized boulder. This article isn’t about belittling the work of a psychologist, it’s more to do with drawing attention to how little some psychologists seem to know about the science of attraction. Their findings were hardly impressive—they were obvious, if you ask me.

The truth is, there is already a well-researched collection of ideas and principles which have been shown to hold up in real life situations: if a guy does this, this and this, then sexual attraction is very likely to occur. Simple as that.

Hopefully you found all of this at least a little bit interesting. If you’d like to get closer to the core of that planet sized boulder, though, check out the best place to learn about how to attract women.

http://www.blackbeltseduction.com/home.php

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