Love ballad leaves women more open to a date

Jun 18, 2010

If you're having trouble getting a date, French researchers suggest that picking the right soundtrack could improve the odds. Women were more prepared to give their number to an 'average' young man after listening to romantic background music, according to research that appears today in the journal Psychology of Music.

There's plenty of research indicating that the media affects our behaviour. or music with aggressive lyrics increase the likelihood of , thoughts and feelings - but do romantic songs have any effect? This question prompted researchers Nicolas Guéguen and Céline Jacob from the Université de Bretagne-Sud along with Lubomir Lamy from Université de Paris-Sud to test the power of romantic lyrics on 18-20 year old single females. And it turns out that at least one romantic love song did make a difference.

Guéguen and Jacob were part of a research team that had already shown how romantic music played in a flower shop led to male customers spending more money. This time the researchers used questionnaires to pinpoint agreed-upon neutral and romantic songs. They chose 'Je l'aime à mourir', a well-known love song by French songwriter Francis Cabrel, and the neutral song 'L'heure du thé', by Vincent Delerm. A group of young women separate from the main study rated 12 young male volunteers for attractiveness, and the researchers picked the one rated closest to 'average' to help with the experiment.

The researchers then set up a scenario where the 87 females each spent time in a waiting room with background music playing, before moving to a different room where the experimenter instructed her to discuss the difference between two food products with the young man. Once the experimenter returned, she asked them to wait for a few moments alone, and this gave the 'average' male a chance to use his standard chat up line: "My name is Antoine, as you know, I think you are very nice and I was wondering if you would give me your phone number. I'll phone you later and we can have a drink together somewhere next week.'

The love song in the waiting room almost doubled Antoine's chances of getting a woman's number - 52% of participants responded to his advances under the influence of Francis Cabrel, whereas only 28% of those who had heard the 'neutral' song by Vincent Delerm offered their details.

"Our results confirm that the effect of exposure to media content is not limited to violence and could have the potential to influence a high spectrum of behaviour," says Guéguen. "The results are interesting for scientists who work on the effect of background music on individuals' behaviour."

The results also add weight to a general learning model proposed by Buckley and Anderson in 2006 to explain the effect of media exposure. Their model states that media exposure in general, and not only aggressive or violent media, affects individuals' internal states, which explains why prosocial media fosters prosocial outcomes.

Why did the music have this effect? It may be that, as shown in earlier research, the music induced positive affect (in psychological terms, affect is the experience of feeling or emotion). Positive affect is associated with being more receptive to courtship requests. Alternatively, the romantic content of the song may have acted as a prime that then led to displays of behaviour associated with that prime. In either case, further research is needed before the researchers will commit to wider generalisations on the targeted use of love songs. But if you're a hopeful single, awareness of the background music certainly won't do any harm.

Explore further: Hand gestures improve learning in both signers and speakers

More information: Nicolas Guéguen, Céline Jacob and Lubomir Lamy, 'Love is in the air': Effects of songs with romantic lyrics on compliance with a courtship request, Psychology of Music 38 (3). The article will be available free for a limited period: pom.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/38/3/303

Provided by SAGE Publications

4.8 /5 (10 votes)

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Skultch
5 / 5 (1) Jun 18, 2010
Do I hear the faint sound of maniacal laughter from all the world's nerds right now? lol :)
trekgeek1
1 / 5 (1) Jun 18, 2010
All of a sudden, walking through a bar with a boom box held over your head is looking pretty clever.
bottomlesssoul
5 / 5 (2) Jun 18, 2010
After reading the 1000th trivial research result indicating particular examples of people not being rational I'm beginning to form a conclusion. When it's done I'll let anyone interested and in hearing range hear it.

Until such time I use these as tests to select out particular mates. Besides, I can trigger that same response with much higher certainty by paying for it. I'm far more interested in someone if their response isn't predicted by these tests; they may be more likely to have something like free will.
Skultch
not rated yet Jun 19, 2010
After reading the 1000th trivial research result indicating particular examples of people not being rational I'm beginning to form a conclusion. When it's done I'll let anyone interested and in hearing range hear it.

Until such time I use these as tests to select out particular mates. Besides, I can trigger that same response with much higher certainty by paying for it. I'm far more interested in someone if their response isn't predicted by these tests; they may be more likely to have something like free will.


I'm excited to hear your conclusion.

So, instead of "tricking" them into giving you their number, you will pay them for it, and somehow that exhibits more free will? Maybe I misunderstood you. If not, didn't you read the study that proved 100% of people worth knowing behave irrationally from time to time. ;)
HealingMindN
5 / 5 (1) Jun 19, 2010
All of a sudden, walking through a bar with a boom box held over your head is looking pretty clever.


No, no. You must be suave and debonaire. Bring ze guitar with you to seranad your loveur as you whispair sweet nothings in her air.
MarkyMark
not rated yet Jun 19, 2010
All of a sudden, walking through a bar with a boom box held over your head is looking pretty clever.


No, no. You must be suave and debonaire. Bring ze guitar with you to seranad your loveur as you whispair sweet nothings in her air.

Why not do both?

I am VERY happy with this now i can make a Slightly insane sounding Mwuhuhuhu
Nederluv
not rated yet Jun 19, 2010
You might have a slightly higher chance to trick women to giving you their number, but you will still fail during the date if you rely on such tricks. Simply because men that rely on tricks are unconfident that they will succeed without.
Simply walk up to a girl and start talking, they will appreciate the guts you're showing and almost certainly give you their number. Unless you look down, speak with a high, irritating voice, don't look them in their eyes or if you look sloppy.