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21 June 2010
Pick-up routines enhanced with right music
by George Atkinson

Having trouble getting a date? French researchers suggest that picking the right background music could improve your chances. Their study, in the journal Psychology of Music, found that women were more prepared to give their phone number to an "average" young man after listening to romantic background music.

Previous studies have shown that music with aggressive lyrics increases the likelihood of aggressive behavior, but researchers Nicolas Guéguen and Céline Jacob from the Université de Bretagne-Sud along with Lubomir Lamy from Université de Paris-Sud, wanted to see if romantic love songs could make a difference.

First they chose a romantic song and a neutral song. Then, they asked group of young women separate from the main study to rate 12 young male volunteers for attractiveness. The researchers picked the one rated closest to "average" to help with the experiment.

They then set up a scenario where the 87 female subjects each spent time in a waiting room with background music playing, before moving to a different room where the experimenter instructed her to discuss the difference between two food products with the young man. Once the experimenter returned, she asked them to wait for a few moments alone, and this gave the "average" male a chance to use his standard chat up line: "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 researchers found that the love song in the waiting room almost doubled Antoine's chances of getting a woman's number - 52 percent of participants responded to his advances under its influence, whereas only 28 percent of those who had heard the "neutral" song offered their details.

"Our results confirm that the effect of exposure to media content is not limited to violence and could have the potential to influence a high spectrum of behavior," says Guéguen. "The results are interesting for scientists who work on the effect of background music on individuals' behavior."

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Source: Psychology of Music

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