By Alyssa Pereira

Those who believe in “love at first sight” thing might have to rethink things—it’s looking like music may have a surprising impact on young lovers.

A study done by the Psychology department at Tokyo’s Aoyama Gakuin University set up 32 young men and women (ranging from teenagers to people in their 20s) to meet for konkatsu, or, “marriage hunting”.

Here’s how it worked: they had two conditions for the 20-minute meetings, one with music and one without.

The participants were divided into eight small groups, consisting of two males and two females each. Four other students (two males and two females) participated in pairs (two couples) in each group as the target conversation partners (called ‘guests’ here). The participants rated their impressions of the guests of the opposite sex before and after the conversation. The guests were instructed to keep the conversation smooth and amicable. 

And, as it happened, the people in the group with background music ended up having more “feelings of love for the partner of the opposite sex.”

Later, participants were asked to give scores for ten trait categories based on meeting the ‘guest’. Predictably, those who were in the group with music rated the guest with more favorable opinions than the group without music, proving they tended to be more attracted to the guest when aided by music.

So, what’s the takeaway? Next time you’re on your first date, you better have a playlist ready to go.


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