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Some Evidence for Heightened Sexual Attraction Under Conditi

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Maddy Vonderohe

on 20 November 2013

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Transcript of Some Evidence for Heightened Sexual Attraction Under Conditi

Experiment 1
Experiment 2
Some Evidence for Heightened Sexual Attraction Under Conditions of High Anxiety
Experiment 2
18-35 years old
Female or male interviewer
Write a story based on a photo
thematic apperception test
scored for manifest sexual content
Given name and number of interviewer
Capilano River, British Colombia, Canada
Experiment 1
Check on Arousal Manipulation
Not possible, must avoid suspicion
Checked fear levels
Experimental bridge: 79/100
Control bridge: 18/100
TAT Results, Behavioral Data
Female interviewer
Experimental bridge: 2.47
18 accepted phone number
9 called
Control bridge: 1.41
16 accepted phone number
2 called
Male interviewer
Experimental bridge: .80
7 accepted, 2 called
Control bridge: .61
6 accepted, 1 called
Results in support of emotional-sexual attraction link
different subject populations
tourists, personality differences
Experiment 3
Experiment 3
No significant differences in the subjects anxiety occurred as a function of the confederate receiving a strong versus a weak shock
Attraction to Confederate
Subjects’ expectations of strong versus weak shock to the female confederate produced no significant increase in attraction
Thematic Apperception Test Responses
Sexual imagery was higher when the subject expected strong shock but only when the female confederate also expected a strong shock

Nathan, McKinsey, Emily, Ryan, Victoria, Maddy
34 males
fit the same criteria as experiment 1

Essentially identical to Experiment 1
A site that allowed for contact with aroused and non-aroused members of the same subject population
No residual psychological arousal from crossing the bridge
A different female experimenter used and no male interviewer condition
Check on Arousal Manipulation / TAT Results
No check on arousal, not possible
Experimental group: 25 completed the survey, average score was 2.99
Control group: 25 completed the survey, average score was 1.92
Behavioral Data
Experimental group: 20 accepted interviewer's phone number, 13 called
Control group: 19 accepted the phone number, 7 called
Lab-manipulated behavior test with female experimenter – different from experiment 1
Enter Experiment room
Experimenter excused himself
Experiment entered the room with the “other subject”
Confederate took off her coat and sat down
Experimenter explained what the study involved
Experimenter flipped a coin
Experimenter asked if they had any questions and explained the questionnaire
Confederate stood up, to retrieve a pencil from her coat
The experimenter takes the subject and the confederate back to their cubicles

Part 1-Feelings about the Experiment
Part 2- Feelings about your co-subject
The answers for Part 1 and 2 were measured by a 5-point scale
Part 3- TAT pictures
same pictures used in Experiments 1 and 2
Main Points
Correlation between aggression and sexual attraction.
Believed to be that in states of strong emotion, sexual attraction was likely to increase.
Barclay and Haber (1965) tried to prove this by putting a classroom full of people in a situation where the felt anger and then measured their sexual arousal.
In 1970 Barclay did a similar study, but with a female experimenter to prove that the aggression- sexual arousal link was not male specific.
In the Aron (1970) experiment, his point was that an aggression-sexual arousal link does exist, but it is only a special case of a relationship between emotional arousal and sexual attraction.

All experiments seem to support the fear to sexual arousal link
​Increased sexual imagery scores
​Increased frequecy of calling female confederate
Experiment 1 - arousal dependant on anxiety
Experiment 2 - adjusting for confounding variables
Experiment 3 - "damsel in distress?"

Interaction of Anxiety and Attraction
Substantial indirect evidence that sexual attraction occurs more frequently during states of strong emotion
Connection between “aggression” and sexual attraction (Tinbergen 1954)
One study angered students in one class and compared aggression and sexual arousal against a control class (Barclay and Haber 1965)

Aron argued that the aggression-sexuality link is only part of a greater relationship between sexuality and any heightened emotional state
Aron hypothesized that strong emotions become relabeled as sexual arousal whenever an acceptable object is present and the circumstances do not require the individual’s full attention
This study aims to elucidate whether an attractive female will be seen as more attractive by males who are experiencing a strong emotion (fear)

The cited studies, as well as this study, utilize a psychological test known as the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
This test is used to reveal a person’s underlying motives or social perceptions by showing them an ambiguous picture of people and asking them to tell a story about it
Full transcript