A new study, recently published in PLOS One, set out to examine how music affects our dating preferences. A team of researchers from the University of Vienna did this by looking at how music influences our perceptions of facial attractiveness, IFLScience.com reported.
"Facial attractiveness is one of the most important physical characteristics that can influence the choice of a partner. We wanted to find out how music can alter the perception of this feature," Helmut Leder from the University of Vienna said.
The study recruited 96 heterosexual men and women with less than 3 years of musical training. Participants were primed with classical music that varied in both intensity and "pleasantness". They were then presented with photos of members of the opposite sex and asked to rate them based on attractiveness and whether or not they would consider dating the person in the photo. There was also a control group that was not primed with any music.
They found music had absolutely no effect on how men rated women, however women judged male faces as more attractive and said they were more likely to date the man in the picture if they'd been musically primed.
"Our goal is to replicate these results in a larger sample and to modify some aspects of the experiment," Bruno Gingras from the Institute of Psychology at the University of Innsbruck said. "For example, we would like to clarify whether musical abilities and creativity can compensate partially for deficiencies in terms of physical appearance and fitness."