misattribution of arousal

πŸ’Ž On the misattribution of arousal (she’s not that into you)

When experiencing heightened emotions, people often mistakenly attribute the cause of arousal to the wrong source. The mind does not make clear and accurate assessments of why we feel a certain mood.

In a famous experiment, young men were asked to cross a high, dangerous suspension bridge. Whilst on the bridge, they interacted with a young female experimenter who offered them the opportunity to call her afterwards to β€˜further discuss the research’. The group who met the woman on a high, dangerous bridge showed a much higher propensity to call the woman afterwards vs the control group who met the same woman on a safe bridge. Men in the dangerous bridge condition mistook their high state of emotional arousal for romantic attraction.

Excerpt from: The Unseen Mind by Ogilvy Change

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