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Mating Psychology Roundup

July 2, 2010

Research suggests that we’re more attracted to people when others find them attractive.


The psychology of mating. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

When it comes to finding a mate, people are heavily influenced by the opinions of others — even complete strangers. Volunteers at Indiana University watched videos of couples talking. The volunteers perceived individuals in the video as much more alluring if their partner in the video was flirting with them. For men, the effect was especially pronounced if they thought the man doing the flirting was more attractive than they themselves were.

In other mating research, scientists in Kenya have found that male antelopes trick females into mating by crying “lion.” If a female antelope in estrus tries to leave a male’s territory, the male will trot over, stare in the direction she’s about to walk, and produce a snort that means “I see a lion!” When she freezes in fear, he attempts to mate with her. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.