When Your Results Confirm Existing Biases, Check Your Controls

I do love it when somebody has one of those, “Oh, shit, we totally missed something incredibly obvious” moments.

The mere act of physically approaching their potential romantic partner, behavior far more typical of men than women, makes people more confident and increases their attraction to their potential partner. In other words, by acting more like men (by physically approaching their dates), they begin to think more like them as well (by being more confident, aggressive, and less selective). In support of their embodied cognition hypothesis, Finkel and Eastwick show that, whether they are men or women, “rotators,” who approach their dates, have greater self-confidence than “sitters,” who are approached, and once they statistically control for self-confidence, the institutional arrangement (whether men or women rotate) ceases to have any effect on whether men or women were more selective.

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