Navigation Links
Strangers influence our dating preferences
Date:6/7/2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Many people like to think they have discriminating tastes when it comes to romantic interests. An Indiana University study, however, found that men and women are greatly influenced not only by what their friends think of their potential fling or relationship partner, but also by the opinions of complete strangers.

"Humans don't exist in a vacuum. From an evolutionary standpoint, it makes sense that we have evolved mechanisms that let us take advantage of the additional social information in our environment," said Skyler Place, a researcher in IU's Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and lead author of the study along with Peter M. Todd, professor in IU's Cognitive Science Program.

"We might think that searching for mates is a process best done individually, that we can best gather the appropriate information by ourselves," Place said. But humans, like many other animals, also pay attention to the preferences of others, to make for a more efficient search process. Who others like might also be a good choice for ourselves."

The concept of "mate choice copying", where an individual copies the mate selections of others, has been widely documented in other species, particularly birds and fish, and has recently been looked for in humans as well. Place's study, published online and in an upcoming issue of the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, is unique in that it exposed study participants to real mate choice scenarios via video of speed-dating couplings.

For the current study, 40 men and 40 women each watched video of eight speed-dating interactions. Speed dating involves sessions in which men and women have numerous "mini dates," each date lasting about three minutes. After every date, the men and women checked a box on a card noting whether they would like to see the other person again. Place and Todd describe such speed-dating events as a realistic microcosm of mate choice behavior.

The study participants were IU students and the speed-dating was conducted in Germany. The students were asked to predict whether they thought the dates were successful as part of the study. The researchers then looked at how the participants own desires to become romantically involved with the individuals going speed-dating changed based on what the participants thought happened on the speed-dates.

The men's interest in the women generally increased after watching the videos but it increased significantly more if their male peer in the video appeared to be interested in the women and if the men were considered as attractive or more so than the study participant.

With the female study participants, their interest in the men in the video increased if their peers in the video appeared interested; but unlike their male counterparts, their interest in the men decreased if the women in the video appeared uninterested. Place said interest shown by the men and women was no different when they were asked whether they were interested in a short affair or long-term relationship.

An intriguing finding involved the sway men had on each other. Place found that the interest of his male study participants in the women in the videos increased in relation to the good looks of the men in the video.

"For men, relative attractiveness of the people they're watching matters -- not just anyone can influence their behavior, just other men they think are at least as attractive as they are," Place said. "We have also seen signs of this influence for women in a larger study still being analyzed."

Place said the influence of strangers is also an important addition to mate choice research.

"Of course people care about what friends and family think of their potential romantic partners. Surprisingly, we showed that complete strangers also matter," he said. "If you walk into a party and don't know anyone, you might think, 'Why do I care what anyone here thinks?' In reality, we're paying close attention to what others in our social environment are thinking and doing."


'/>"/>

Contact: Skyler Place
ssplace@indiana.edu
781-856-0049
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Lifestyle Doesnt Influence Genetic Risks in Breast Cancer
2. Genetic differences may influence joint pain among women taking lifesaving breast cancer drugs
3. UCSF Analyses Detail Tobacco Industry Influence on Health Policy
4. UCSF analyses detail tobacco industry influence on health policy
5. New research indicates that DNA sequence itself influences mutation rate
6. Relationships May Influence Surgical Residents Career Plans
7. Weather Might Influence Prostate Cancer
8. Free Yourself from Negative Energetic Influences
9. Malpractice Fears Can Influence Medical Practice
10. Hormones Tied to Diabetes Might Also Influence Fertility
11. Study: Social influence playing role in surging autism diagnoses
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Strangers influence our dating preferences
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent freestanding ... of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce Dr. ... James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , Dr. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for ... is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits ... terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps ... slow progress toward their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com reveals that ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic ... many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping ... released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out ... family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers ... would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 Research and Markets ... for Companion Diagnostic Tests" report to their offering. ... Companion Diagnostics The World Market for Companion ... medicine diagnostics. Market analysis in the report includes the following: ... (In Vitro Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. America, EU, ROW), ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- MedSource announced today that it has selected Datatrial,s ... choice.  This latest decision demonstrates MedSource,s commitment to ... by offering a state-of-the-art electronic data capture (EDC) ... the EDC platform of choice in exchange for ... long been a preferred EDC platform by our ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) ... Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated testing ... With this clearance, Roche is the first IVD company ... for sepsis risk assessment and management. PCT ... PCT levels in blood can aid clinicians in assessing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: