Music Can Influence Chances of Getting a DateWhen romantic music is playing in the background, a woman is more likely to hand out her phone number.

Results recently released from French scientists showed that romantic music, compared to music with a neutral theme, increased the chances that a woman will agree to give her phone number to even an “average guy.”

Nicolas Guéguen and his team of researchers from the Université de Bretagne-Sud and Université de Paris-Sud studied a group of 87 young women between the ages of 18 and 20 to assess the effect of romantic music compared to neutral music on their willingness to agree to a date.

First, the team asked 48 separate young women what French love song they liked best, and what was their favorite song that had “neutral thoughts and feelings.” The three most commonly preferred romantic and three most commonly preferred neutral songs were selected.

Then, another group of 22 women listened to the lyrics of each song, and on a scale of 0-9 rated how romantic they thought the lyrics were.  The songs that were rated the most and least romantic were selected for the study.

The romantic song selected was “Je l’aime à mourir’” by Francis Cabrel, and the neutral song was “L’heure du thé” by Vincent Delerm.

Another group of 18 young women were shown photographs of 12 young men and asked to rate how attractive they thought the men were.  The men were not aware of the goal of the study.  The man who received the most “average” score was chosen to participate in the study.

The researcher then set up a dummy experiment in which they pretended to be conducting a taste test of cookies.  Each of the 87 young women arrived at a separate time and was seated alone in a waiting room in which either the romantic or neutral song was playing.

After three minutes she was invited into a room with the man selected for the study, and they discussed the merits of the cookies tasted.  The man delivered the same lines to each woman.

After five minutes, the study was stopped, and the couple was left alone for two to three minutes.  The man was instructed to say the same thing, “As you know, my name is Antoine, I think you are very nice and I was wondering if you would like to give me your phone number and we can have a drink somewhere next week.”

Out of the women who had listened to the romantic song in the waiting room, 52.2 percent agreed to give their phone number, but only 27.9 percent of the women who had listened to the neutral song gave their phone number.

It has been well documented in the past that media exposure to violence and aggression can have a negative effect, increasing violent and aggressive thoughts and behavior.

Prior research by Guéguen and his group has shown that romantic music played in a flower shop can influence a man’s romantic behavior and increase the amount of money he spends, but had no effect on the females studied.

Guéguen’s new results suggest that the content of media exposure may influence other emotions and behaviors.  While this study demonstrates that media with a romantic content may enhance romantic thoughts and behaviors of both sexes, it is possible that other types of media may enhance additional prosocial behaviors.  Further research could help analyze potential benefits from positive media exposure.

Guéguen’s results are published in the journal Psychology of Music

Source: Psychology of Music