Music influences the assessment of faces of the opposite sex
Music has many positive effects. For example, it can help with bad mood, give comfort, relieve pain and promote concentration. A new study by the University of Vienna has shown that music also plays a role in partner selection. Accordingly, women find men more attractive if they have previously listened to music. The results of the study have now been published in the latest edition of the trade journal "PLOS ONE".
Effect on sexual attraction
The not very charming phrase "drinking someone nice" describes the phenomenon that a person becomes more and more attractive, the more alcohol you drink yourself. But it is not only alcohol that can influence how we assess the attractiveness of the other person. Music also apparently has an effect on sexual attraction.
Researchers at the University of Vienna have now come to this conclusion in a current study. A team of psychologists led by Manuela Marin and Helmut Leder investigated to what extent musicians' lives have an impact on the subjective evaluation of faces of the opposite sex.
“The attractiveness of the face is one of the most important physical characteristics that can influence the choice of partner. We wanted to find out how music can change the perception of this characteristic, ”said Helmut Leder from the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Vienna, according to a current press release.
Already the founder of the theory of evolution, Charles Darwin, had assumed that the music had developed through sexual selection - comparable to bird song during the mating season. According to the researchers, the motor and cognitive skills necessary for playing music act as a signal for good genes and thus increase the reproductive success, the researchers say. At the moment, however, there are only a few empirical findings that support this theory.
Almost 100 subjects rate photos
The study included a total of 96 participants, who were divided equally into three groups: women in the fertile phase of their cycle, women in the infertile phase and men. The scientists first played musical excerpts with different emotional content to the test subjects and then showed them photos of neutral-looking faces of the opposite sex. The men and women assessed this in terms of its attractiveness on a scale, and the willingness to date with this person was also documented. A control group rated the faces without listening to music.
No change in men
The result: listening to music led women to assess the faces of men more attractively and to be more willing to meet than the control group. The researchers report whether they were in the fertile or sterile half of their cycle. The greatest effect compared to the control conditions had "highly exciting and thus complex music", the message said. In the case of men, however, the music had no influence on the evaluation of the pictures.
Further research needed
According to the scientists, the results would open up new possibilities for examining the importance of music when choosing a partner. It is important to clarify, for example, whether musical skills e.g. Can compensate for weaknesses in the area of fitness.
“The empirical findings that music has the power to influence human behavior in relation to partner selection are increasing. But how can you reconcile Darwin's theory with other biological and social theories about the creation of music? Music can promote social cohesion, and it also plays a role in the mother-child relationship. There is still a long way to go before we understand these relationships, ”says Manuela Marin, who is now at the Institute of Psychology at the University of Innsbruck. (No)