April 23, 2016


Tell a Good Tale, Find a Great Mate : Research finds storytelling ability increases men's attractiveness as long-term romantic partners. (Tom Jacobs, 4/23/16, Pacific Standard)

Newly published research finds women view men as more attractive potential long-term mates if they are good storytellers.

"Stories are not just mere conversation," write Melanie Green of the University of Buffalo and John Donahue of the University of North Carolina. "Storytelling ability appears to increase (a man's) perceived status, and thus helps men attract long-term partners."

In the journal Personal Relationships, the researchers describe three studies that provide evidence of this dynamic. In the first, 71 male and 84 female university students were shown a photograph of a college-age person of the opposite sex. They then read one of four versions of the person's purported biography.

Depending on which version they read, participants learned that he or she was either a good storyteller, an OK one, or a poor one. Still others read a version that did not reference storytelling at all. After reading the bio, all were asked to assess the person's attractiveness as a long-term dating partner, a casual date, or as a friend.

The result: Women found men described as good storytellers more attractive as potential long-term mates. But as prospective casual dates, they had no advantage over rivals in the other three categories. And for men evaluating women, storytelling ability proved irrelevant.

Posted by at April 23, 2016 1:04 PM