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

 


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'


The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>


Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>


Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>


Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland