A new study published in Psychological Science finds that playing hard to get might be the strategy to keep in mind this Valentine’s Day.
The study out of Harvard and University of Virginia consisted of 47 female undergraduates, who were told they would be participating in a study researching whether Facebook was a useful dating site. The women were told a lie — that male students from other universities had looked at their profiles.
As Discovery News explains, the women were split into three groups and told that the fictional guys either liked them a lot, an average amount, or either a lot or an average amount in comparison to a group of approximately twenty other women.
It was the ambiguous group of fictitious men that received the highest ratings from the women. This group reported thinking about the men the most, which increased their attraction. The first group received the second highest marks and it shouldn’t come as a shock that the “average amount” group got the lowest scores from the participants.
Study authors Erin Whitchurch, Timothy Wilson and Daniel Gilbert write:
“When people first meet, it may be that popular dating advice is correct: Keeping people in the dark about how much we like them will increase how much they think about us and will pique their interest.”
The study can be found here.