Faking love can lead to real romance

July 5th, 2012 - 5:34 am ICT by IANS  

London, July 4 (IANS) Behaving as if you have really flipped for someone can make you fall in love, according to latest research.

Richard Wiseman, professor of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, tested the theory by holding a speed dating night in which some of the prospective partners acted as if they were already in love with each other.

They were were encouraged to gaze into each other’s eyes, to touch hands and to whisper secrets. Then at the end they were questioned as to how many people they met they felt close to and how many they would like to see again.

Under the normal speed dating behaviour, around 20 percent of volunteers indicated that they wanted to see one another again, but playing the psychological games more than doubled the success rate to 45 percent, the Telegraph reports.

The results are published in Wiseman’s book ‘Rip It Up’, published by MacMillan.

On a scale of one to seven of closeness, those role playing were a full point closer than those who did not. “This is a remarkable finding,” said Wiseman.

“Just as people feel happier when they force their face into a smile, so pairs of people behaving as if they find one another attractive became emotionally close. Behaving like you are in love can lead to actually falling in love,” said Wiseman.

Around 100 volunteers took part in the experiment in Edinburgh. The singletons were paired up and invited to play various psychological games.

These games were designed to encourage each pair to act as if they found one another attractive and included, for example, looking into one another’s eyes, sharing secrets, and making small gifts for one another.

“People love this new form of speed-dating because it helps them interact in a more interesting way and, more importantly, encourages them to behave as if they find each other attractive,” he said.

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