New study says you can fake your way to love

Act like you find someone attractive for long enough and you may just develop feelings for the person, according to a new research study, indicating that you might just be able to fake your way to love.

Researchers recently invited people to participate in an an experimental speed dating session to play specific psychological games in order to determine if doing so would enkindle amourous thoughts that weren’t originally present. Speed dating participants were asked to engage in the kinds of behaviour that was suspected of building emotional bonds, such as giving small gifts, sharing secrets, and maintaining eye contact during the event, and the results turned out to be startling.

The normal percentage of people who, after finishing a round of speed dating, wish to see one another once more, was found to be around 1 out of every five. However, the group of speed daters asked to employ the psychological tactics reported a success rate of more than double at 45 per cent.

Richard Wiseman, a psychology professor from the University of Hertfordshire, found the findings ‘remarkable’ in that two people who behaved as if there was an attraction between them developed an emotional attachment. Prof Wiseman compared it to the phenomenon of feeling happier from forcing a smile onto your face. The psychology professor said that while research in a similar vein has been carried out in a laboratory environment with students, this new ‘real world’ test is the first of its kind – and the first time where people actually looking for a love connection were used.

Prof Wiseman says that similar techniques could be employed to great effect, up to and including making two people who have never met before fall completely and maddeningly in love with one another.

Spread betting on dating site profiles for small marg-ins

What do you do when you get to the supermarket and they don’t have the brand of butter you were looking for? You need to make sandwiches for the party and you’ve been to all of the other supermarkets; this one was your last hope. You’ve got to have something. What do you do? Yep, you pick up one that might get you out of a scrape tonight, you just hope people appreciate the filling and not the butter that’s on the bread.

What the bloody hell has this got to do with online dating? Well, according to one recent study by five top scientists in North America, this is the mentality sweeping dating sites and singles the world over.

The outline of the study can be found in our article: Do dating site algorithms work or just string us along?

Shock, horror, the algorithm’s not found what you’re looking for but brought up several choices on ice on the shelf where your butter should be, but you just know whichever of the alternatives you plump for, it won’t spread with as much satisfaction as the brand you’d hoped to pick up. Well, eggs-zactly.

The full report is yet to be released but an essence of what the results will smell like has been issued on the website from whence this snippet came. The study itself focuses on how dating in the real world differs from its online cousin, concentrating on definitive areas, including accessibility of potential partners, levels of communication and the interaction that leads to and, the hot potato, the matchmaking service ‘based on scientific algorithms‘ the dating sites purport to utilise.

More is less

Initial reports suggest that, although there is a whole lot more choice via the portal of online dating, that doesn’t guarantee ‘superiority’. Far from it, in fact.

Going back to the butter metaphor, the vast array of individuals looking to fall in love online is leading other singles to ‘brand’ them, comparing vast swathes of profiles and, if ‘the one’ doesn’t jump off the shelf, those browsing are unprepared to commit to any of the others.

Another aspect, harking back to the 90% fib about themselves in their online dating profile, is that a partner with whom the single has been chatting to for sometime rarely lives up to their ‘persona’ in real life, and the expectation levels from communicating via a dating site often fall flat what the date comes to fruition in the flesh.

The scientists do hold some hope for the science behind Internet dating, however, but it will take 100% honesty from members and webmasters, alike. Psychology has as much to do with appreciation of a partner as physical attraction, that much is known. Providing that all parties enter and deliver true information from being ‘guided by rigorous psychological science’, then finding ‘the one’ may not be a figment of the i-marg-ination, butter very real prospect.