Friends, love, & tinder: an investigation of the effect of auditory social stimulation on sexual and romantic attraction toward potential mates
Holler, Richard H
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SubjectResearch Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Psychology; Evolution; Asexuality; Mate selection -- Psychological aspects; Auditory stimulation; Supernormal stimuli; Romantic attraction; Sexual attraction; Human mating strategies; Evolutionary psychology
Humans are social apes that adapted to social networks that were no larger than approximately 150 individuals (Dunbar, 1993). Today, the computer and internet provide humans the means to communicate with virtually anyone across the planet. To explore if using online social venues (e.g., tinder) versus physically attending social venues, such as a popular restaurant, facilitate sexual and romantic attraction toward others, participants were exposed to an auditory stimulus while evaluating 10 images of attractive target mates on 3 dependent measures: interest to have sex with target mates (sex-interest), interest to date target mates (date-interest), and sexual attractiveness of target mates. Of the 3 auditory stimuli--social stimulation (ambient sounds of a restaurant), controlled stimulation (sounds of flowing water), and no stimulation (silence)--sounds of flowing water, compared to silence, produced significantly higher date-interest ratings, t(60) = 2.00, p = .05, d = .51 and, marginally, significantly higher sex-interest ratings, t(57) = 2.00, p = .051, d = .52. Average spent hours per day using a computer significantly predicted date-interest and sex-interest among women and men, respectively. Additionally, the Asexual Identification Scale (AIS; Yule, Brotto, & Gorzalka, 2015) was applied to plot participants along the asexual spectrum. AIS scores significantly predicted (1) sex-interest, but only among men, and (2) date-interest, but only among women.
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