Cabrel Public, includes the lovesong 'Je L'aime A Mourir' Would you be surprised if I told you that French researchers were involved in the study of romantic music and its effects on getting average-looking men a date? It's good to hear that romance, even the inclination to study romance, is still alive in France.
The study, by Nicolas Guéguen and Céline Jacob from the Université de Bretagne-Sud and Lubomir Lamy from Université de Paris-Sud, is published today in the journal Psychology of Music. It tests the power of romantic lyrics on the 18 to 20 year old single females.
Guéguen and Jacob had shown in another study that background music made a positive difference in how much money men spent in a flower shop. In this study, they conducted surveys to determine two songs: a romantic song and a neutral one. Additionally, prior to the actual experiment, a group of men were screened by viewers and rated according to their attractiveness as a date candidate.
The most average male, 'Antoine," was chosen for the experiment and two songs were chosen: 'Je l'aime à mourir', ("I love her until I die") a well-known love song by French songwriter
Francis Cabrel, and the neutral song 'L'heure du thé' ("Tea Time"), by Vincent Delerm.Vincent Delerm album includes "L'Heure du Thé"
The experiment proceeded with 87 single females. Before entering a room to meet Antoine and to discuss 'the difference between two food groups" the females sat in an ante-room waiting for a few minutes. In the background, either the romantic song or the neutral song was playing.
Then the young women were escorted to the experimental room to meet Antoine and discuss the two food groups. Afterward, Antoine was given a chance to ask the women, "My name is Antoine, as you know, I think you are very nice and I was
wondering if you would give me your phone number. I'll phone you later
and we can have a drink together somewhere next week.'
The women who heard the love song prior to the interview responded positively almost twice as much as those who heard the neutral song - 52 to 28 percent.
This study ads credence to the tested theory that media content influences internal states and behavior in general. Several studies have already pointed to violent media bringing out aggressiveness and similar behaviors in its audience.
"Our results confirm that the effect of exposure to media content is
not limited to violence and could have the potential to influence a
high spectrum of behaviour," says Guéguen. "The results are interesting
for scientists who work on the effect of background music on
(The links above are to the albums where these songs are featured. You can listen to samples of them and see if you think they would put you in a more 'agreeable' mood!)