“The nonmagnetic and the repel condition didn’t seem to differ from one another at all,” he said.
So in their next experiment, this one with 150 students, the researchers included only blocks with magnets that attracted, and nonmagnetized blocks. The people who played with the magnetized blocks again reported greater levels of attraction, satisfaction and commitment in their relationships than those who played with nonmagnetized blocks, the researchers said in their article, published May 26 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.
Although the effects of the magnets on people’s levels of attraction and intimacy were larger than in the first experiment, the effects on people’s satisfaction and commitment were smaller, the researchers found. The reason for those smaller effects may have been that the second experiment took place later in the semester, and more students who originally reported being in relationships had broken up, the researchers wrote. Thus, more participants may have been remembering past relationships instead of thinking of current ones.
Words to thoughts
No one has previously studied the “love is attraction” metaphor, Christy said, though, in a similar vein, a previous study did find that people report that candy and water taste sweeter after they are primed with thoughts of love. A 2008 study found that people made to think of loneliness rate the room they are in as colder than those primed to think about being accepted.
“These studies reiterate the basic point of conceptual metaphor theory, that these metaphors that we use in language aren’t just figures of speech or ways of talking about things,” Christy said. “They actually are reflective of how we think about things, too.”
Curated by Erbe