Playing the Stevie Wonder hit Superstition during a first date could ensure a second!
Psychologists at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, found speed daters ‘were more interested in meeting their dating partners again when the background music was high-groove, than when it was low-groove. Our findings show groovy music promotes romantic interest.’
Playing downbeat tunes such as David Bowie’s classic Space Oddity and Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd had the opposite effect, slashing the likelihood of a second date.
The research team tested their theory by recruiting 50 men and women to several speed dating events. Each date was limited to four minutes.
While the couples talked, the music in the background changed frequently. At the end of the night, volunteers were asked to nominate those people they would like to see again.
The results, in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, revealed both sexes were much more likely to request second dates with those they met when tunes such as Superstition were being played.
Researchers say the type of music – even if it is playing quietly in the background – can heavily influence romantic attraction and funky soul tunes are much more likely to trigger something called body sway than slower songs.
Body sway – gentle movements in the torso, head and shoulders – is an important non-verbal form of communication between potential partners.
Psychologists think when two strangers on a date both make such movements, even when they are sitting down chatting, it forms a hidden bond that gives rise to romantic attraction.