How can you tell from a distance if two people are attracted to each other?
Are they moving a great deal? Animated? Fidgeting even?
“The result is that our activity level, even when suppressed and visible only as fidgets and nervousness, is an honest signal of interest.”
During a speed dating meeting, a woman’s activity level predicted whether she would give out her phone number or not.
Even with people merely exploring a friendships, activity level predicted whether they would trade contact information.
When we use the sociometer to look at real-world interactions like dating and social networking, we find that activity level is an honest signal of interest and excitement. In the speed-dating event described above, the woman’s activity level was the most important predictor of whether or not she was going to share her phone number.
More generally, when we looked at people engaged in discussions about news topics, we found that their activity level was one signal of how interesting they found the conversation. It is, in fact, quite a familiar effect: when we speak about having an “animated discussion,” we mean that the participants were interested and excited about the topic being discussed.
The same applies to social interactions such as making friends or social networking. When two people are exploring the possibility of a closer relationship, one sign of their interest in each other is their rising activity level. For instance, when we used the sociometer to monitor a group of more than one hundred people attending a conference at our laboratory, we found that activity level was one of the key signals of mutual interest and was predictive of trading contact information.” Whenever we detected two people gesturing and talking particularly energetically, the odds were very good that they would trade contact information within the next two minutes. Regardless of who they were or where they were from, their activity level accurately predicted the trading of contact information. Thus, activity level serves as an honest signal of interest.
Another clue is the amount of eye contact.
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