One of the most elusive dating tactics since the beginning of time has to be 'playing hard to get'. Prior researches have yielded little support for the efficacy - or inefficacy - of this belief and those who had had the chances to execute the strategy in real life might realise the so-called strategy often leads to ambivalent results.
Xianchi Dai, Associate Professor of Department of Marketing at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Business School, together with PhD student Ping Dong (now Assistant Professor of Marketing at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University) and PhD student Jayson S Jia of Stanford University (now Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Hong Kong), collaborated in a research study to find out the answers.
Titled ‘When Does Playing Hard to Get Increase Romantic Attraction?’ the study aims to reconcile existing divergent findings while it also substantiates a time-honoured folk theory, according to a global media report.
The study points out that prior researches downplaying the efficacy of 'playing hard to get' is usually based on a golden rule of interpersonal attraction: that we like those who like us. On the other hand, researches challenging the said reciprocity principle argue that uncertainty elicited by 'playing hard to get' would in fact enhance engagement and motivation.
Conducted with students from CUHK, the study consists of two experiments, namely a mental simulation and an actual speed-dating study.
The first experiment manipulated 'hard to get' versus 'easy to get' and also psychological commitment in a scenario-based study.
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