This Could Be Why We Swipe Right For Questionable Men

Academic studies can be fascinating… and totally confusing. So we decided to strip away all of the scientific jargon and break them down for you.

The Background
It’s been found that people determine whether or not they’re attracted to someone within 100 milliseconds of an initial sighting. First impressions can be critical, especially now that we can swipe away potential dates on online dating apps as quickly as our brains reject them. Physical attractiveness is certainly a factor — previous research has identified a “halo effect,” whereby we assign additional positive traits to attractive people, as well as a “devil effect” that might prompt us to assume that unattractive people have other “bad” characteristics. These effects are also seen when someone violates social norms, either in a harmless or creepy way. But to what degree do these halo and devil biases affect our open-mindedness to strangers? Could there be implications to our dating lives — which rely more and more on digital first impressions, with only a photo and a few discernible characteristics to go by?

The Setup
In a recent study, researchers from Eastern Kentucky University brought in 170 female college students to see how physical attractiveness affected how they reacted to men in normal vs. lab-designed creepy situations. They presented the female students with two different hypothetical scenarios: The first scenario involved a male stranger who asks to borrow a pen in class, and the second involved a male stranger who approaches the female to ask to take her photograph for a modeling project. (Can you guess which scenario was supposed to be the creepy one?)

The women were divided into two groups and shown photos of two men, one deemed attractive and one deemed unattractive by the researchers. One group received —> Read More