Entries in classic study (8)


The Dating Equation: ½(your age) + 7

A common rule of thumb, at least on the internet, is that it’s okay to be interested in someone “half your age plus seven” years. According to this rule, it would not be creepy for a 30 year old to date a 22 year-old, but an 18 year-old would be off-limits. Although this is a fun rule of thumb, what does research say about age preferences for potential mates?

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Aww Sookie, Sookie, Now! True (Blood) Love from a Gain-Loss Perspective

What’s hotter than a vampire in love? Two vampires in love...with the same woman! Admit it, you eagerly awaited each Sunday, hoping that this season of True Blood might push the erotic boundary of an already risqué show by including a steamy three-way relationship between Sookie, Bill, and Eric! Then, stunned, you watched the season draw to a close with Sookie walking away from both of her true loves. 

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Where the Cool Kids Live

As I look out my office window at the freshmen moving into the dorms, I’m reminded of a classic study of student housing at MIT demonstrating the importance of physical proximity on forming friendships. Most college friendships developed between people who lived near to each other; those living close to stairwells and mailboxes (i.e., gathering places) became the most popular residents. So if you want to make friends, be seen and interact with others.

Also see our article on having healthy relationship during your first year of college.

Festinger, L., Schachter, S., & Back, K. (1950). Social pressures in informal groups: A study of human factors in housing. Palo Alto, California: Stanford University Press.


Under the Table and Dreaming (of You)

Have you ever been in a relationship that you hid from others? If you answered “YES”, you’re not alone; 62% of S of R readers responding to our recent poll have done the same. There are lots of reasons to keep a relationship under the figurative (and literal, as we’ll see later) table. Maybe you’re dating your boss, seeing someone significantly older or younger than you, got back together with your ex (that your friends all hated), or are having an affair with someone who is currently married and you need to be discreet about your tryst. Sounds pretty hot, right?

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Dude, You Stink So Good

Please note that the t-shirts purchasable in our Swag Shop do not come with pheromones. You must supply your own (or ask your partner to loan you some).

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“Do you wanna smell my sweaty t-shirt?” That doesn’t sound like a very good pickup line for a guy to use, does it? Well, turns out it might be, depending on how attractive he is.

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Feeling Your Pain, Quite Literally

Some research is just too cool; here’s a now classic study worth sharing.

For a long time scientists have been curious about the link between empathy and pain. In particular, people use so-called “mirror neurons” to help interpret what others are experiencing, to help remember their own experiences, and to help predict or imagine the past or future.

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Motivational Poster: Science of Relationships Style

With the semester coming to an end, we needed a new way to showcase our incredible PowerPoint skills. Sure, fake motivational posters are a cheesy internet gimmick. That doesn't mean they aren't humorous. But they would be better if the "motivational" message was based on actual research. Mission. Accomplished.

Coming this summer to a mall kiosk near you.

If you'd like to know more about the science behind why a bridge may influence attraction, check out this previous post.

Scream 4: A Good Date Movie?

You're going on a date this weekend and you want to see a movie, but which movie should you go to?  You might think that going to see a romantic movie would be the most likely way to make some sparks fly between you and your date, but according to research Scream 4 is likely the better choice. It may seem odd, but there’s good reason to expect that watching a horror movie could increase attraction between partners.

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