Many studies test hypotheses that seem obvious, but this one takes the cake.
The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, found that:
” …as our “sexual systems” are activated in the presence of an attractive stranger, it is common for people to embellish, conform, change their attitudes regarding certain topics, and outright lie all to make a good first impression.”
The term sexual systems doesn’t refer to arousal, it simply indicates that we’re aware of a potential sexual partner in the vicinity. So we start stretching the truth and making stuff up.
Researchers from the University of Rochester and the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in Israel developed a series of experiments involving more than 600 Israeli students. Among other things, students were shown either sexually suggestive or neutral images and then asked to debate an attractive member of the opposite sex, or to chat with them online about personal habits.
In these and other scenarios, those who had been shown suggestive images were quick to either agree with their supposed debate opposite, or to accept personal habits they’d previously listed as deal breakers in the dating scene.
In short, we’ll say most anything, and agree to most anything, to be attractive to potential mates.
At least, that’s the way we behave at the beginning of the relationship. Who thought we needed a study to prove such a thing? Any college campus on a weekend night would provide the same results, and cost a lot less.