“In 1974, two well-known psychologists, Arthur Aron and Donald Dutton, set out to explore the mysterious nature of sexual attraction, using two bridges in Canada as the setting for an ingenious experiment. One of the bridges— Capilano Suspension bridge—was constructed solely of plank and cable and swayed perilously in the wind some 250 feet above a turbulent river. The other was a solidly built anchored bridge that sat a mere 10 feet above sea level. The two-part experiment went like this:
On Day One, whenever an unaccompanied man ventured across the shaky bridge, he would find himself stopped midway by an attractive young woman. She would introduce herself as a psychology student and then proceed to ask if he would mind participating in a brief survey. On Day Two, the same woman followed an identical routine on the sturdy bridge.
Sounds pretty straightforward, right? But there was a little twist: When each of the men completed the survey, the young woman would hand him her phone number and tell him that he was free to call her later that evening for the results.
Unbeknownst to the subjects, the real study was not the answers the men gave on the survey, but what happened afterward. Which set of men would be more likely to give the woman a call? Would the excitement and exhilaration of being on the shaky bridge, versus the more mundane experience of being on the solid bridge, promote romantic attraction? Does adrenaline makes the heart grow fonder?
Not only did Aron and Dutton find that the men on the shaky bridge were more likely than their stable-bridge counterparts to call the woman later for results of the survey, but they were also far more likely to ask her for a date!
When it comes to desire and attraction, a little unpredictability goes a long way.”
Source: Ian Kerner on CNN’s Health Blog.