The love song in the waiting room almost doubled Antoine's chances of getting a woman's number 52% of participants responded to his advances under the influence of Francis Cabrel, whereas only 28% of those who had heard the 'neutral' song by Vincent Delerm offered their details.
"Our results confirm that the effect of exposure to media content is not limited to violence and could have the potential to influence a high spectrum of behaviour," says Guguen. "The results are interesting for scientists who work on the effect of background music on individuals' behaviour."
The results also add weight to a general learning model proposed by Buckley and Anderson in 2006 to explain the effect of media exposure. Their model states that media exposure in general, and not only aggressive or violent media, affects individuals' internal states, which explains why prosocial media fosters prosocial outcomes.
Why did the music have this effect? It may be that, as shown in earlier research, the music induced positive affect (in psychological terms, affect is the experience of feeling or emotion). Positive affect is associated with being more receptive to courtship requests. Alternatively, the romantic content of the song may have acted as a prime that then led to displays of behaviour associated with that prime. In either case, further research is needed before the researchers will commit to wider generalisations on the targeted use of love songs. But if you're a hopeful single, awareness of the background music certainly won't do any harm.
|Contact: Jayne Fairley|
SAGE Publications UK