How to best impress your date? Leave off the expensive dinner and flowers—take her to a concert instead.
Want to improve your dating success?
That may sound like the kind of dating wisdom you'll get from a men's magazine or an advice column, but it actually came from scientists. A new study has found that women rate men's faces to be more attractive after listening to music. Thus, you can take your date to a concert, listen to some vintage LPs if that's her thing, or maybe even dust off your guitar and play her a few tunes yourself.
A person's face is one of the first things we look at, and it's one of the preliminary factors in choosing a romantic partner. Researchers wanted to know how music can influence how attractive a woman finds a man to be. Interestingly, however, the researchers found that music doesn't affect how much men find women attractive.
We get a sense of arousal when we listen to music. There's a theory that posits that this arousal from music can “transfer” to human faces, thus making those faces more attractive. However, there hasn't been much evidence to prove this theory correct. This is what the researchers tried to prove true or false.
96 heterosexual men and women participated in the study, 64 of which were women. Each participant had less than three years' worth of musical training. Researchers grouped female participants according to what stage in the menstrual cycle they were in, as this can indicate how fertile they were while they were participating in the study.
The female participants had to listen to a 25-second clip of 19th century classical music. Some of clips were high-intensity, while others were low-intensity, and all had varying degrees of “pleasantness”. The researchers then presented the participants with photographs of male faces and asked them to rate how attractive they thought the faces were. The participants also went through 25 seconds of silence before rating faces as a control setting.
According to the findings, women rated the faces to be more attractive in general after listening to the 25-second clips of music. They also stated more often that they would date the man they saw in the photos.
The findings also show that it didn't matter what stage of the menstrual cycle the women were in. As mentioned above, music also didn't affect the male participants in the same way it affected the female ones. According to the researchers, this may be because it's men who are primed to court women, not the other way around. Researchers also mention that previous studies show that men's musical abilities are attractive to women.
So guys, take note. Other studies have also shown a correlation between music and the attraction between men and women. This study, in particular, explores the correlation between menstrual phases and women's preference for music composers.
This more recent study has a relatively small sample size. The researchers plan on replicating the same study in the future, but with a sample size larger than the previous one.
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