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 ‘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