The perception of attraction in dyadic interactions

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Authors

Clements-Schreiber, Michele Evon

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Volume Title

Publisher

University of Guelph

Abstract

Past research has demonstrated that, under a wide variety of circumstances, men over-estimate women's intention to behave sexually during mundane interactions. From this finding, researchers have sometimes concluded that men misperceive women's friendly behaviour as seduction. In this study, men and women offered self and other-ratings of friendly and sexual behavioural intent, as well as perceptions and metaperceptions of levels of attraction/interest in future interaction following a mundane seven minute conversation with an opposite-sex partner. Results were consistent with findings of men's greater attraction and greater sexualized perception of women's behavioural intentions. However, this research did not support the interpretation that men either over-estimate women's attraction/interest in future interaction or that they misperceive women's friendly behaviour. Rather, findings suggest that while men's perceptions of women's attraction are not significantly different from women's self-reported attraction, women significantly underestimate both men's sexual behavioural intent and their levels of attraction/interest in future interactions.

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Keywords

men, women, friendly behaviour, sexual behaviour, behavioural intent, perceptions, metaperceptions, attraction, interest, mundane interactions, sexualized perceptions

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