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The effects of attitude similarity and physical attractiveness on romantic attraction and time perception
To determine the relative potency of physical attractiveness and attitude similarity on degree of liking and desire to date, and secondly, to find support for time estimation as an alternative method of measuring romantic attraction, forty male subjects met two female confederates in what was ostensibly a computer dating program. One confederate, average in physical attractiveness and moderate in attitude similarity, served as a reference point for the second, experimental confederate whose looks and attitude were manipulated to appear highly attractive or unattractive and/or highly similar or dissimilar in attitudes. Each subject spent a period of eight minutes with each confederate discussing their answers to an attitude scale in order to equate the salience of the physical attraetive-· ness and attitude similarity manipulations. This procedure also allowed the use of' Ornstein's (1969) comparison method of' time estimation which controls for individual variance. Subjects were asked to estimate the passage of time with the neutral date relative to the passage of time with the experimental date. A 2 x 2 Analysis of Variance (physical attractiveness by attitude similarity) supported the predicted main effects of physical attractiveness and attitude similarity on degree of liking and desire to date. Contrary to the hypothesis, however, physical attractiveness and attitude similarity did not interact, nor did physical. attractiveness account for a greater amount of the variance in degree of liking or desire to date. Time estimation did not correlate with liking or desire to date nor was it differentially affected by physical attractiveness and attitude similarity as determined by two-way Analysis of Variance. Post-hoc regression analysis was unable to reveal any adequate predictors of time estimation. Possible explanations for the lack of' significance of these hypotheses are suggested, as well as suggestions for future rezsearch.