The emotion-sexual attraction link

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A presentation about the study of Dutton and Aron (1974) where they studied if "an attractive female is seen as more attractive by males who encounter her while they experience a strong emotion (fear) than by males not experiencing a strong emotion” (p. 511)

Dutton, D. G., & Aron, A. P. (1974). Some evidence for heightened sexual attraction under conditions of high anxiety. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 30(4), 510-517.

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The emotion-sexual attraction link

  1. 1. Evidenceforanemotion-sexualattraction link<br />The experimental design and operationalization of the Dutton & Aron (1974) study<br />Nadine Bol<br />Mark Boukes<br />12-02-2010<br />Experimentation<br />
  2. 2. Content<br />Aim of Dutton & Aron’s studies<br />Experimental designs and operationalization<br />Conclusion<br />1<br />
  3. 3. Aim of Dutton & Aron’s studies<br />To test the “notionthatanattractivefemale is seen as more attractivebymaleswhoencounter her whiletheyexperience a strongemotion (fear) thanbymalesnotexperiencing a strongemotion” (p. 511)<br />2<br />
  4. 4. Experiment 1<br />Subjects: males 18-35yr, unaccompanied by a female<br />X = Anxiety, operationalized by<br />Capilano Canyon Suspension Bridge (X1) or “control” bridge (X2)<br />Y = Sex of interviewer<br />Female (Y1) or male (Y2)<br />O = Sexual attraction<br />TAT, telephone calls<br />C = Manipulation check<br />Fearfulness of bridge check (questionnaire and observation)<br />No arousal check (suspicion)<br />3<br />Group 1: X1 Y1 O C<br />Group 2: X2 Y1 O C<br />Group 3: X1 Y2 O C<br />Group 4: X2 Y2 O C<br />
  5. 5. 4<br />
  6. 6. Results experiment 1: twobridges<br />Sexualimagery scores<br />Behavioral data (telephonecalls)<br />The experimentalcondition (Group 1) had a significant higher score onbothdependent variables<br />5<br />
  7. 7. However…<br />Subjectswerenotrandomlyassigned to one of the conditions<br />6<br />
  8. 8. Experiment 2: one bridge<br />Subjects: males 18-35yr, unaccompanied by a female<br />X = Anxiety, operationalized by<br />Crossing the bridge (X1) or crossed the bridge 10min ago (X2)<br />Y = Sex of interviewer<br />Female (Y1)<br />O = Sexual attraction<br />TAT, telephone calls<br />C = Manipulation check<br />Was not necessary<br />7<br />Group 1: X1 Y1 O C<br />Group 2: X2 Y1 O C<br />
  9. 9. Results experiment 2<br />Sexualimagery scores<br />Behavioral data (telephonecalls)<br />The experimentalcondition (Group 1) had a significant higher score onbothdependent variables<br />8<br />
  10. 10. However…<br />Therecouldnotbecontrolledfornonverbalcommunication of interviewer (lady in distress effect).<br />9<br />
  11. 11. Experiment 3: electric shocks<br />Subjects: males 18-35yr, unaccompanied by a female<br />X = Anxiety, operationalized by<br />Expect to receive a strong shock (X1) receiving a weak shock(X2)<br />Y = Expect to receive shock confederate female<br />Strong (Y1) or weak (Y2)<br />O = Sexual attraction<br />Questionnaire, TAT<br />C = Manipulation check<br />Anxiety check (questionnaire)<br />10<br />Group 1: X1 Y1 O C<br />Group 2: X2 Y1 O C<br />Group 3: X1 Y2 O C<br />Group 4: X2 Y2 O C<br />
  12. 12. Results experiment 3<br />Attraction ratings<br />Sexualimagery scores<br />Strong shocks lead to higherattraction ratings. Sexualimagery scores werehigherwhen the subject received a strong shock butonlywhen the femaleconfederatealsoreceived a strong shock<br />11<br />
  13. 13. Conclusion<br />Support foranemotion-sexualattraction link was found<br />The emotionfearcanlead to sexualattration<br />Notgeneralizable<br />12<br />
  14. 14. Thankyouforyourattention<br />Dutton, D. G., & Aron, A. P. (1974). Someevidenceforheightenedsexualattractionunderconditions of high anxiety. Journal of Personality and SocialPsychology, 30(4), 510-517.<br />13<br />

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