ScienceDaily (June 7, 2010) Strangers Influence Our Dating Preferences
Many people like to think they have discriminating tastes when it comes to romantic interests. An Indiana University study, however, found that men and women are greatly influenced not only by what their friends think of their potential fling or relationship partner, but also by the opinions of complete strangers.
“Humans don’t exist in a vacuum. From an evolutionary standpoint, it makes sense that we have evolved mechanisms that let us take advantage of the additional social information in our environment,” said Skyler Place, a researcher in IU’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and lead author of the study along with Peter M. Todd, professor in IU’s Cognitive Science Program.
“We might think that searching for mates is a process best done individually, that we can best gather the appropriate information by ourselves,” Place said. But humans, like many other animals, also pay attention to the preferences of others, to make for a more efficient search process. Who others like might also be a good choice for ourselves.”