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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. 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. 103-105) The aforementioned words of the Greek philosopher illustrate that liking and similarity are intertwined variables.Speed-dating is a romantic dating process in which individuals go on several dates to efficiently assess feelings of interpersonal attraction for a possible romantic partner.The standard speed-dating procedure requires participants to go on multiple brief dates that normally range between 3 to 9 minutes in length.As Finkel, Eastwick, and Matthews (2007) suggest: Speed-dating provides a promising methodological paradigm for studying initial romantic attraction and early relationship development because it enables investigators to assess a large battery of background information about individuals before they meet one another, to introduce them to one another in a controlled laboratory setting (the speed-dating event), and to follow them after the laboratory session to examine relationship dynamics over the ensuing days, weeks, and beyond. 151) Indeed, speed-dating was appropriate for the current research because it offered an effective method for manipulating the variables of interest and comparing pre-test versus post-test effects.In sum, speed-dating nicely aligned with the thesis, variables, and goals of the present research.
The present research used speed-dating to examine physical attraction after a single interpersonal communication.
It was along a related line that Lewandowski, Aron, and Gee (2007) found that desirable personality information about another individual resulted in participants perceiving another person as more physically attractive while less desirable personality information about another individual resulted in participants perceiving another person as less physically attractive.
Communication scholarship courtesy of Afifi and Burgoon (2000) discovered that positive violations of expected behavior lead to an increase in the attractiveness of an expectancy violator while negative violations of expected behavior lead to a decrease in the attractiveness of an expectancy violator.
The rationale for using a speed-dating methodology is also discussion worthy.
One reason for using this methodology is because it provides an efficient means for assessing individual perceptions.