Hebrew University researchers in Israel have made a breakthrough that should help people who are looking for that special someone. They may just have found the secret to determining what you can do on a first date to make it something more permanent by observing speed dating events.
The team of researchers was led by Dr. Shir Atzil of the Department of Psychology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. “Connecting with a partner depends on how well we can synchronize our bodies. We specialize in studying parent-infant bonding – and we had already seen the same thing there,” she explained.
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The researchers looked at how a heterosexual couple’s physiology and behavior adapt to each other during that first encounter. The study was based on a speed-date experiment consisting of forty-six dates. Each date lasted 5 minutes during which the levels of physiological regulation of each partner were recorded with a band worn on the wrist. Behavioral movements, such as nodding, moving an arm, shifting a leg were also recorded in each partner during the date.
Interestingly, speed dating was actually invented by a Rabbi. Back in 1998 in Beverly Hills over the Purim holiday, Rabbi Yaacov Deyo started the first such speed dating event as a way for his students to try and find their soulmates.
As for the new study, the researchers said that it showed clearly that when couples synchronize their physiology with one another and adapt their behavioral movements to their partner during the date, they are romantically attracted to one another. This research was recently published in Scientific Reports.
The study also showed that the degree of synchrony affected men and women differently. Although for both genders synchrony predicted attraction, women were more sexually attracted to men who showed a high level of synchrony – “super-synchronizers”; these men were highly desirable to female partners.
“Our research,” said Atzil, “demonstrates that behavioral and physiological synchrony can be a useful mechanism to attract a romantic partner. However, we still don’t know whether synchrony raises attraction or does the feeling of attraction generate the motivation to synchronize?” An area of research that Atzil is planning to investigate.