Go-karts & the science of attraction <3

This is a quick catch-up blog about a couple of weekends ago, which was another busy one!

On the Friday night I helped out with Science London for the first time at the RI lates evening—I helped run a speed-dating event with a scientific twist! It was a pretty fun event to help out on, though leaving the email about it open on my boyfriend’s computer did lead to some confusion 😛

 Anyway, there is a theory that we are more attracted to people that look similar to us, so we matched people up based on facial matching software as well as their preferences during the regular speed-dating. Apart from taking photos of people and arranging them boy-girl at tables, (also recruiting more men at the start, who were at first reluctant to join in!) there wasn’t much for us to do while the actual speed-dating was going on, so we got a free hour to check out the rest of the events.

There was loads going on all around the Royal Institute, which is a lovely building full of rooms covered in floor-to-ceiling bookcases and bars and exhibits. It was an adults only event, but the whole sense of it was playful and fun—people were dissecting hearts, making crowns, playing around with lego to create the different stages of the universe after the big bang, and making pictures out of magnets and iron filings. I would definitely go back as a visitor, but it was nice this first time to skip the queue and pop in to help out with the dating event.



After the speed-dating there was a speaker who studied the science of attraction and gave us some great experimental results from his work, for example that when we are hungry we find a larger range of body sizes attractive, which is thought to be because our brains are searching for resources, or people with access to them. Another one is an experiment that had a researcher asking questions to people after going over a high, scary rope-bridge and also more people over a regular concrete bridge. At the end of the survey, the researcher asked the people to rate how attractive they found him, and also offered them his phone number if they wanted to chat more about the experiment later on. Significantly more people rated him as highly attractive after going over the scary bridge, than the regular one, and they were also about 10x more likely to call and ask more about the experiment. It seems that people often mistake fear or physical arousal for sexual arousal—which is potentially why scary movies are popular for dates.

Also according to him, the scientifically proven best chat-up line is ‘if you were a pizza topping, which topping would you be?’ Yes. I’m not sure if that one would work on me.

On the Saturday, I travelled up to Birmingham dressed as princess peach for one of my friend’s birthdays. Go-karting was so much fun—the track was indoors but went up and down over two storeys, and there were eleven of us so plenty of crashes and competition! I did come tenth though… I don’t know how I am so slow! Someone did tell me I was the most aggressive driver, so I suppose that is a win of some sort…

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Saturday evening I went home (my parents live about an hour from Birmingham) and watched Dr.Who with my family which was a nice traditional evening 🙂 I don’t normally go home in term, so it was great to catch up with my Grandparents briefly and chat to my family.

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