Songs by Barry White epitomize so-called "baby-making" music, namely they set a mood that augments the likelihood for sexual intimacy. While people might disagree as to the exact song that is maximally sexy, few people will play Metallica, Katy Perry, or Justin Bieber, hoping that it will serve as an aphrodisiac. Clearly, most individuals are well aware that music plays an important role in various courtship contexts. In today's post, I'd like to briefly summarize a recent study by Nicolas Guéguen (whose work I have covered in several of my other posts), Céline Jacob, and new PT blogger Lubomir Lamy. They investigated whether the type of background music (romantic versus neutral) would affect the likelihood of a woman offering her phone number to a man whom she just met.
They set up an experiment where single female participants (n = 87) interacted with a male confederate (i.e., an individual pretending to be a participant) for a brief period. The confederate was average looking (as judged by independent raters) and he was blind to the hypothesis being tested. The two experimental conditions consisted of either a romantic song or a neutral song. At the end of the interaction, the confederate stated the following (p. 305): "My name is Antoine, as you know, I think you are very nice and I was wondering if you would give me your phone number. I'll phone you later and we can have a drink together somewhere next week." The dependent measure was the proportion of participants who agreed to offer their phone numbers.
Here are the results:
When the romantic song played in the background, 23 out of 44 women (52.3%) offered their phone numbers. On the other hand, when the neutral song served as the ambient music, only 12 out of 43 women (27.9%). The difference between the two proportions was highly significant (p = .02). The authors suggest that there are two possible reasons that might explain this finding. First, to the extent that romantic music engenders positive affect, individuals might be more disposed to agree to a (courtship) request when in a favorable mood. A second possibility is that romantic music serves as a mating prime, which accordingly augments the likelihood of accepting a courtship request.
Here are seven of my all-time favorite love songs...you're welcome!
Moments in Love by the Art of Noise
Europa by Gato Barbieri
This Woman's Work by Maxwell
You Are Everything by The Stylistics
Someone Like You by Van Morrison
Break Your Promise by The Delfonics
Loving You by Minnie Riperton
My wife is one lucky lady.
What are some of your favorite love songs? Do share. Happy holidays to everyone!
Source for Image: