The music factor in attraction

 By Fouad Alaa
To gauge how music affected people's perception of attractiveness, researchers had male subjects hold guitars in their profile pictures and send out friend requests to random women to see if they would accept their requests.

To gauge how music affected people’s perception of attractiveness, researchers had male subjects hold guitars in their profile pictures and send out friend requests to random women to see if they would accept their requests.

PICTURE YOURSELF at a concert: the band is playing, and the girls are screaming their heads off. You take a closer look at each band member, and you realise most of them look like hobos with beat-up shoes, messy hair, and ill-fitting clothing, traits that would land any normal person into a group of outcasts. But, then you hear someone gushing about how they love the band’s ‘style’. What gives?


Have you ever wondered why some people – particularly musicians – seem mysteriously more attractive than others? What makes them different from the rest of us? There’s actually a psychological explanation, but before we delve into it, let’s first take a look at what the meaning of attraction is at its core.


A simple definition of attraction is: something enjoyable or interesting that people would want to see and are interested in. This interest could also include romantic or sexual interest.


So what makes a person physically attractive then? Well it’s actually based on perception. We live in a world with many different cultures so it is natural that each culture comes with its own perception of others. The music world too has its own culture, and its phenomenon can be understood in the field of Psychology of Music.


So what is Psychology of Music? Imagine Psychology and Musicology getting married, and these two fields have a child together. The main goal for this field is to study, explain, and comprehend musical behavior and experience that includes how music is perceived, created, reacted to, as well as integrated into on a daily basis.


It covers a wide range of areas from how the brain would process a pitch or a rhythm, to how music is perceived in society and health and education. Basically, wherever there is music, this field wants to study it.


A study conducted in France compared a man’s musical ability and their rate of attractiveness perceived by women. So how did they measure this? The experiment was simple; two guys were assigned to ask for womens’ phone numbers on the street while holding different bags, one holding a sports bag and the other holding a guitar case.


The results showed that the guy holding the guitar case scored more numbers than the poor fella holding the sports bag, suggesting that the man who held the guitar case was associated with musical practice, which in turns links with sexual selection.


Another experiment was run using the famous social media platform known as Facebook to measure a male’s rate of attractiveness perceived by women.


Instead of a guitar case, researchers had the male hold a guitar in his profile picture and send out friend requests to random women to see if women would accept their requests. Surprise, surprise, it was revealed that women responded more positively to the requests from males who posed with a guitar, suggest ing that the effect of music may serve as a signal in the selection of mates.


Although there have been many claims that have suggested that sexual selection and the theory of music has been quite widespread, it must be highlighted that by the end of the day, a majority of it lacks empirical evidence to support it otherwise.


But let’s be honest and set science apart for a second here, the truth of the matter is that it doesn’t really matter though.


We will always know at least that one guy or girl that isn’t that attractive in the Hollywood way but is adored by so many because they know how to shred on their guitars.


No matter what the person may really look like it doesn’t really matter because once you slap a guitar on them, add a few bandmates, put them on stage, these average Joes instantly become the sexiest people alive.


So in the future, if things are going south in the dating scene or even in a relationship, maybe its time to change things up a bit.


Explore the local music scene:


You’d be surprised by how many interesting people you meet supporting the local acts. Strike up a conversation with the person you’re sitting/standing next too. You’ll never know what it could lead to, and if you’re in a relationship, it’d be a nice change of pace from the usual routine. Who knows, you both just might develop a new love for an artist/band together that you’d be able to gush about with your S.O.


Sign up for lessons:


If you’re up for some spending, hit up your local music store to sign up for a beginners’ class in guitar to explore your inner rock star dying to come out, or if you’re more of the sensitive soul then maybe the piano might be your calling.


Whatever instrument you choose, don’t be afraid to try it no matter how old you are. Remember, age doesn’t matter when it comes to acquiring knowledge. If money is an issue, sometimes you might be able to score some free lessons from your local neighborhood community centers, so don’t forget to explore. It’s also another great excuse to meet new people!


Share your talent:


If you’ve been playing an instrument for a while, but never told anyone about it, maybe it’s time you shared some of your talent with the good people you know.


I play the guitar and ukulele for fun occasionally, but I’m not a great musician. Even if you were pretty bad at playing the instrument, the effort alone would be enough to move the person’s heart which may lead to possibilities. And if you’ve already mastered your instrument of choice, then share it with the world. You’d be surprise by how many hearts you’d have had melted by the end of your performance.


And if all else fails, there’s always a guitar case to buy at your local store.


Good Luck!


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1 Response

  1. Yazmin Yousuf says:

    I think there’s a bit more to this..ever read the quote “music was there for me when no one else was”?

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