Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


UC psychology expert studying origins of attraction

UC psychology expert studying origins of attraction

November 3, 2013

A University of Canterbury (UC) psychology expert is trying to understand the origins of personal attraction by studying changes in time perception. 

UC psychology researcher Dr Joana Arantes received $300,000 in Marsden funding this week and wants to know whether changes in time perception occur when seeing an attractive potential mate for the first time, which could be explained by evolutionary pressures our ancestors faced in the past.

``The initial idea for our research came from the popular belief that time seems to slow down or even stop when falling in love at first sight,’’ Dr Arantes says.

``This can be seen depicted in films such as the Tim Burton movie Big Fish and in Taylor Swift’s song Time Slows Down Whenever You’re Around.

``We know from previous research that perceived time can slow down in real-life situations that are threatening, such as car crashes, bungee jumping, or to take a less extreme example that’s been studied in the laboratory, viewing photos of snakes. These changes in time perception, which can be subtle, are mediated by changes in arousal, and have evolved because they increased the likelihood of survival. 

“From an evolutionary perspective, it makes sense that similar changes in time perception would occur in situations related to reproductive fitness, such as unexpectedly seeing an attractive potential mate for the first time.
 
``Of course, this is consistent with the saying about: love at first sight. But when we looked in the scientific literature we found there had been no prior research.

``In our first study, which was recently published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, female participants viewed photos of attractive and unattractive males and females that were briefly presented on a computer and had to estimate their duration by pressing a mouse button.

``We found that the estimated durations of attractive males were longer than for unattractive males, whereas there was no difference in the estimated durations of attractive and unattractive females. This result supported our prediction that the timing system is sensitive to reproductive fitness.’’

Dr Arantes says the Marsden grant will allow her research team to follow up the initial findings and systematically study the role of time perception in interpersonal attraction. She will use laboratory and realistic methods to explore what happens automatically and instinctively in the cognitive system during interpersonal attraction.

Initial results are not expected until the end of next year.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

With Hunters & Collectors: The Rolling Stones Announce New Auckland Date

It’s the news New Zealand has been waiting for. The Rolling Stones today confirmed the rescheduled dates and venues for both the Australian and New Zealand legs of their highly anticipated ’14 On Fire’ tour. Now, Frontier Touring is also delighted ... More>>

ALSO:

Flying Things: Conchords, Pretties Help BATS Fly Home

The launch of BATS theatre’s fundraising campaign has taken off – with a bit of help from their friends. And with friends like theirs… An event last night hosted by Te Radar at Wellington’s latest waterfront venue, Shed 6, featured Fly My Pretties and, in a dream-come-true scenario, Flight of the Conchords. More>>

ALSO:

Environment: Zoo’s Own Wētā Workshop Produces Rare Giants For Release

Following unprecedented breeding and rearing success, Auckland Zoo is today releasing 150 of New Zealand’s largest giant wētā, the wētā punga, onto pest-free Motuora Island in the Hauraki Gulf. A further 150 will be released onto Tiritiri Matangi next month. More>>

Girls On Film: Divergent Hits The Big Screen

n January, Catching Fire (the second film in the Hunger Games series) not only became the biggest US box office success of 2013 : it also became the first film starring a female actor (ie. Jennifer Lawrence) to top the annual domestic earnings chart since The Exorcist, 40 years ago. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: No Travel Sanctions For Russian Billionaire’s Superyacht

On the same day that New Zealand announced travel sanctions against selected Russians, a Russian billionaire’s superyacht berthed in Wellington Harbour. More>>

ALSO:

Mental Health: UC Researchers Believe Robots Can Persuade People To Conform

A team of University of Canterbury (UC) researchers and scientists believe robots can persuade people to conform through group pressure... ``Our results showed that robots can induce conformity but to a significantly lesser degree than humans." More>>

NZ On Air: Local Content Holds Steady At 32% Of Television Schedules

Since 1989 NZ On Air has measured local free-to-air television content. The report compares the schedules of the six national free-to-air channels, to observe trends and changes in the local content landscape. More>>

Arts Fest: 2014 New Zealand Festival A Spectacular Celebration

The New Zealand Festival welcomed the world to Wellington over 24 days (21 Feb – 16 Mar) of arts events across the city. “[current figures show] slight increase on the 110,000 tickets issued in 2012. It’s a great result.” More>>

Opera: Happy 70th Birthday Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Our first lady of song who “feels more like at 15 year old” will celebrate her significant birthday on stage at Covent Garden tomorrow night (Friday morning NZT), performing in the Royal Opera House’s production of La fille du régiment (The Daughter of the Regiment) as La Duchess de Crackentorp. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news