Romantic attraction is a complicated thing that scientists still don’t altogether understand.
But, through the investigations and experimentation, they’ve come up with many notions about what describes one person to another.
Below, Business Insider has rounded up some of the most compelling scientific insights about the traits and behaviours that build humen more appealing to women.
The best part? None of the items on this list require you to get cosmetic surgery or do a major personality overhaul. We’re talking small tweaks, like acting nicer and swapping your deodorant.
Read on for simple ways to step up your dating game.
This is an update of an article originally posted by Drake Baer .
Look for the universal signals of flirtation
Rutgers University anthropologist and best-selling author Helen E. Fisher says that women around the world signal interest with a remarkably similar sequence of expressions.
As she shared at Psychology Today, it goes like this 😛 TAGEND “First the woman smiles at her supporter and lifts her eyebrows in a swift, jerky motion as she opens her eyes broad to gaze at him. Then she drops her eyelids, tilts her head down and to the side, and seems away. Often she also covers her face with her hands, giggling nervously as she retreats behind her palms .
“This sequential flirting gesture is so distinctive that[ German ethologist Irenaus] Eibl-Eibesfeldt was persuaded it is innate, a human female courtship ploy that evolved eons ago to signal sexual interest.”
Men – and women – are attracted to people who are as attractive because this is .
In one survey, researchers at the University of California at Berkeley looked at the behavior of 60 heterosexual male and 60 heterosexual female users on an online dating site. While the majority of users were inclined to reach out to highly attractive people, they were most likely to get a answer if such person or persons was about as attractive as the latter are( as judged by independent raters ).
“If you go for someone approximately[ equal] to you in attractiveness, it avoids two things, ” Nottingham Trent University psychologist Mark Sergeant, who was not involved with such studies, told The Independent. “If they are much better-looking than you, you are worried about them running off and having affairs. If they are much less attractive, you are worried that you could do better.”
Present yourself as high status
A 2010 analyze from the University of Wales Institute found that humen pictured with a Silver Bentley Continental GT were perceived as style more attractive than those pictures with a Red Ford Fiesta ST.
And a 2014 study from Cardiff Metropolitan University found that men pictured in a luxury apartment were rated more attractive than those in a control group.
Interestingly, humen don’t seem to be more attracted to women when they’re pictured in a high-status context.
Psychologists call it the “George Clooney Effect.”
“We think this suggests greater financial independence dedicates girls more confidence in partner choices, and attracts them to powerful, attractive older men, ” lead author and University of Dundee psychologist Fhionna Moore said in a statement.
Evolutionary psychologists say that younger women and older men often pair up because while fertility just last from puberty to menopause in females, it can extend long into midlife for many men. Society also gives men greater opportunity to accumulate status and resources as they age.
Grow a light beard
In a 2013 analyze from researchers at the University of New South Wales, researchers had 177 heterosexual men and 351 heterosexual women look at images of 10 men in one of four conditions: clean-shaven, light stubble, heavy stubble, or full beard. Participants rated the men pictured on several traits, including attractiveness.
That girls said the most attractive beard length was heavy stubble.
“Facial hair correlateds not only with maturity and masculinity, but also with dominance and aggressivenes, ” write authors Barnaby J. Dixson and Robert C. Brooks.
“An intermediate level of beardedness is most attractive, ” they add.
Build muscle( but not too much )
In a 2007 study from University of California, Los Angeles, 286 females looked at pictures of shirtless men and indicated which ones seemed as though they would construct the best long- and short-term partners.
Results showed that girls were more likely to want short-term relationships with the guys who had big muscles.
The evolutionary signal that might be at work here?
Characteristics like muscularity are “cues of genes that increase offspring viability or reproductive success, ” say authors David A. Frederick and Martie G. Haselton.
But Frederick and Haselton took away another telling finding: Less-muscular humen were thought to be a better fit for long-term relationships. So if you want to catch a woman’s eye and hold her attention, you may be better off not going overboard.
One of the best documented findings in psychology is the halo effect, a bias where you unconsciously take one aspect of somebody as a proxy for their overall character. It’s why we suppose beautiful people are good at their jobs, even when they aren’t necessarily.
As psychologist and writer Scott Barry Kaufman notes, the halo consequence works in other ways too.
In a 2014 Chinese examine, more than 100 young person looked at images of men and women’s faces and rated them on attractiveness. Each face pictured was paired with a word that described either a positive personality trait – like kindness or integrity – or a negative personality trait, like being evil or mean.
Results showed that the people described with positive traits were rated more attractive.
“Even though beauty is an assessment of fitness value, there is no reason why assessment of fitness needs to be purely physical, ” Kaufman writes, means that acting kind can make you appear more attractive.
A 2010 cross-cultural analyze – with participants from China, England, Germany, and the US – found that women are most attracted to men wearing red.
In one experimentation from the study, 55 female undergrads looked at a colour photo of a man in either a red or green shirt, and then rated the man’s attractiveness.
Sure enough, the man was rated significantly more attractive when he was wearing a red shirt. The results were similar when researchers compared the red shirt to other color shirts as well.
Interestingly, participants generally weren’t aware that the man’s garb coloring was influencing their perceptions of his attractiveness.
Make your partner laugh
In one 2006 study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, researchers asked undergraduate students( they didn’t indicate their sexual orientation) to indicate how much they valued a partner’s they are able to build them giggle and their own they are able to make their partner laugh.
Results showed that women valued both their partner’s sense of humor and their own ability to make their partner laugh; humen valued merely their own they are able to make their partner laugh.
Stroll a dog
In a 2014 experimentation from the Ruppin Academic Center in Israel and the University of Michigan, 100 Israeli girls read vignettes about men.
Some of the men were described as “cads”: They would cheat on their partner and get into fights. The other men were described as stereotypical “dads”: They would work hard at their job and take good care of their kids.
Whenever the tale featured a cad who owned a dog, females rated that man as a more suitable long-term partner than a cad who didn’t own a puppy. Cads with dogs were even rated slightly more attractive than fathers with dogs.
The researchers concluded that owning a pet signals that you’re nurturing and capable of inducing long-term commitments. It can also help you appear more relaxed, approachable, and happy.
Play good music
In a 2014 survey, researchers at the University of Sussex asked about 1,500 girls( whose average age was 28) be interested to hear simple and complex pieces of music and rate the attractiveness of the composer.
The results showed that girls favor the more complex music, and said they would choose the composer of the more complex music as a long-term partner.
Before the session began, 91 students were asked to fill out a mindfulness questionnaire in which they indicated how much they agreed with statements like 😛 TAGEND
“I perceive my feelings and feelings without having to react to them.”
“I notice changes in my body, such as whether my exhaling slows down or speeds up.”
“I’m good at finding the words to describe my feelings.”
After each interaction with an opposite-sex partner, students privately indicated how “sexy” they found their partner and how much they’d like to date that person.
Results showed that men were generally more drawn to physically attractive females.( Independent coders had rated the students’ attractiveness beforehand .) But women were generally more attracted to mindful men.
Play extreme sports( carefully )
A 2014 analyse led by researchers at the University of Alaska at Anchorage found that females are attracted to men who take what the researchers call “hunter-gatherer risks.”
More than 230 undergrads filled out questionnaires about how attractive they would find a partner who engaged in certain risky behaviours, as opposed to a partner who engaged in low- or no-risk behaviors.
Hunter-gatherer dangers included mountain biking, deep-sea scuba diving, and extreme rollerblading. “Modern” dangers included plagiarizing an academic newspaper, casually managing chemicals in a laboratory, and not updating the virus-protection software on your computer.
Low- and no-risk behaviors included biking along paved paths and carefully managing chemicals in a chemistry-lab class.
Results showed that girls said they would be more attracted to men who engaged in hunter-gatherer dangers – the kinds that were similar to risks faced by ancestral humen. Women said they would be less attracted to men who engaged in modern hazards, which might seem just plain dumb.
Wear a scented deodorant
Simply knowing that you’re wearing a new fragrance can stimulate you act more confident, and even make you seem most attractive to other people.
In a small 2009 examine published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, researchers gave one group of male undergraduates a spray with antimicrobial ingredients and fragrance petroleum, and another group with an unscented spray that didn’t contain antimicrobial ingredients. Over the coming few days, the men who utilized the scented spraying reported higher self-confidence and felt more attractive.
The strange portion? When a group of women were presented silent videos of the men, they discovered those who were wearing scented spray most attractive, even though they plainly couldn’t reek them. The researchers determined that the men utilizing the scented spraying displayed more confident behavior, which in turn built them more attractive.
Chow down on garlic
The smell of garlic on your breath is generally regarded as an instant romance murderer. But a recent series of studies, from researchers at Charles University and the National Institute of Mental Health in the Czech Republic and the University of Stirling in the United Kingdom, indicates a different story when it is necessary to body odor.
In one examine, eight men eat a slice of bread with cheese and 12 grams of fresh garlic; another eight ate bread and cheese without any garlic. For the next 12 hours, the men wore cotton pads under their armpits and were instructed not to use any deodorants or fragrances.
The following day, all the men returned to the lab, where 40 girls sniffed the pads and rated the odor on pleasantness, attractiveness, masculinity, and intensity. Results showed that the garlic group was rated more pleasant and attractive and less masculine and intense.
Do volunteer work
About 30 girls looked at a picture of a man with a brief description of his pastimes, which sometimes included volunteer work. The same procedure was repeated with about 30 men looking at a picture of a woman. Everyone rated how attractive they discovered the person or persons pictured for a short- and long-term relationship.
Both genders rated the person pictured as more attractive for a long-term relationship when they were described as a volunteer – but the effects was stronger for women rating men.
Show off your scars
That scar on your chin from when you fell off a motorcycle could help you attract a mate.
In a 2009 study, researchers at the University of Liverpool and the University of Stirling took photos of 24 male and 24 female undergrads. They digitally manipulated half of the images so the subjects appeared to have facial scars – for example, a line on the person’s forehead that looked like the outcomes of an injury.
Then the researchers recruited another group of about 200 heterosexual male and female undergrads to rate all the people pictured based on attractiveness for both short- and long-term relationships.
Results showed that humen with scars appeared slightly more attractive for short-term relationships than humen without scars. Women, on the other hand, were perceived as equally attractive regardless of whether they had scarred faces.
Use open body language in your online dating photo
A 2016 study – from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Northwestern University – suggests that we’re more attracted to people who showing expansive body language.
In one experiment included in the study, the researchers made profiles for three men and three women on a GPS-based dating app.
In one set of profiles, the men and women were pictured in contractive stances – for example, by intersecting their arms or hunching their shoulders.
In the other set of profiles, the same men and women were pictured in expansive positions, like holding their limbs upward in a “V” or reaching out to grab something.
Results showed that people in expansive postures were selected as potential dates more often than those in contractive postures. This effect was slightly larger for women selecting men.
A 2011 University of British Columbia study revealed a curious finding: Heterosexual men and women prefer different emotional express on potential mates.
In one experiment is to be found in such studies, researchers had nearly 900 North American adults look at photos of opposite-sex individuals online.
The researchers were specifically comparing people’s perceptions of express of pride, happiness, shame, and neutrality( other people had already identified the emotion behind the expres in the photo ). For women evaluating men, the most appealing expression was pride, and the least appeal was happiness.
Even weirder, an expression of disgrace was comparatively attractive on both men and women.
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