The women were kept guessing if the men liked them the best or not.
Often we have heard from friends that when dating someone, it is best not to be too enthusiastic in the beginning and reveal all of your feelings. But why would keeping someone guessing about your feelings make that person more attracted to you?
In psychology we have learned about the reciprocity principle: we tend to like someone if they like us.
But what if we don't know if someone really likes us or not? Gilbert of Harvard University recruited 47 female undergraduates.
Results showed that the guys were more interested in meeting the woman again when she'd played hard-to-get by acting disinterested — but if they'd chosen her as their partner, instead of being assigned to her.
The researchers say that's because the men who'd chosen the woman felt "committed" to her. Even though the men wanted the hard-to-get women more, they liked her less.
The men were also less attracted to women who were considered "easy to get," meaning they were open to dating several men.
However, what is interesting about this study is the uncertainty of attraction to that person in particular.
In one 2014 study, researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the University of Toronto, and Stanford University recruited 61 single guys at a Hong Kong university to participate in a speed-dating experiment.
The rest of the time, the woman was told to act disinterested, by only passively responding to their questions, not asking any of her own, and displaying an unresponsive facial expression.
After the date, the researchers asked all the guys to indicate how much they liked their partner and how much they would want to meet her again.
Right before summer break between my junior and senior year of college, I started seeing a guy. My mistake here was obvious — I'd made my interest in him too explicit.
We hung out for a few weeks, on the last of which I said something about how great it would be to keep dating next semester. knows you're supposed to hide your romantic feelings, to avoid coming off as too strong and turning the other person off.