A New Era of Courtship

Andrew Dix

Abstract


The central purpose of this study was to determine whether a single interpersonal communication event could influence perceptions of physical attractiveness in a dating environment. A total of 104 undergraduate students at a large United States university engaged in speed-dating in order to examine the effects of both positive communication and negative communication. Speed-dating was incorporated into the present research because this round-robin method of dating offered an efficient means for investigating attraction and analyzing the effects of a single conversation. It was upon arrival at the event that participants completed a pre-test measure, engaged in a series of three minute speed-dates, and then completed a post-test measure. Results produced evidence of an interaction. Perceptions of physical attractiveness increased from pre-test to post-test in the positive communication condition while perceptions of physical attractiveness decreased from pre-test to post-test in the negative communication condition. Additional findings illustrated that three minutes of non-neutral social interaction had differing effects on women and men. One of the central conclusions from the present research was that females can strategically use interpersonal communication as a tool for enhancing their physical appearance. The results from this study also yielded practical implications that are relevant to casual dating as well as theoretical implications that are germane to communication theory.


Keywords


attraction; perception; interpersonal communication; relationships; speed-dating

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5964/ijpr.v7i2.132