Main menu


Beautiful Minds and Their Psychological Attraction

Beautiful Minds and Their Psychological Attraction

In the past couple years it’s become exceedingly easier to meet people in the dating sphere with Tinder making your intentions relatively clear with a right swipe or a winky face emoji before going out on a Saturday night. As of late, dating has become a socially outlawed process and the fine art of stumbling over your words as you approach that special someone has become the butt of many cringe worthy high school movies. The questions that have plagued social psychologists include, do opposites really attract? Does the “nice guy” phenomenon actually exist? Excluding the biological factors of a person, are some people just more psychologically attractive than others?

The 2014 film release of Love, Rosie was an example of the idea that partners that are somewhat similar can form complex and intense interpersonal relationships, which gives weight to the saying “birds of a feather flock together.” A study conducted by Eva Klohnen and Shanhong Luo, found that couples often shared a degree of similarity in terms of attitude domains in relation to values in life, political views and religious attitudes.

On the other awkwardly placed hand of dating methodologies is the idea that partners should be opposite and complimentary to each other. Movies such as 10 Things I Hate About You and every other high school film reinforces the idea that opposites do actually attract. Florence Kaslow found that in extreme cases of personality disorders (PD) the opposing PD was more attractive in potential mates. The notion that having two opposites attract is not as far fetched as it seems, since in Dr. Kaslow’s study, it makes reference to the fact that each partner lacked the trait of their partner and almost felt as if that their partners were their missing part, and they made each other complete. The two extremes of personality do appear to attract in the formation of interpersonal relationships.

A combination of the two dating ideals, opposites attracting and birds of a feather flocking together, appears to be at work as having a polar opposite partner would result in a conflict heavy and abrasive relationship. Whereas having a partner who is the exact same person as you would be boring and mundane. A good relationship has a healthy mix of conflict and similarity between the two partners.

Does the nice guy phenomenon actually exist? 

The nice guy phenomenon or the notion that “nice guys always finish last” is that being overly nice drives females away to other guys, which are the polar opposites. Does the nice guy phenomenon actually exist? Or is it merely a case of egocentric male thinking?

A “nice guy” is often defined in Internet and popular culture as a male who is stereotypically being overly nice towards females to establish a romantic relationship. A prime example of the nice guy phenomenon is the 1999 release of Notting Hill with the “nice guy” being portrayed as the hero of the story.

In a 2005 study conducted by Anita K. McDaniel of University of North Carolina Wilmington showed that females actually preferred a “nicer” guy for relationship exclusivity, stimulating conversation and non-physical relations. Another study conducted by ES Herold and Robin Milhausen of the University of Guelph found that there were trends to attraction between the “nice guys” and the females. In the study, females that had few sexual partners and placed less of an emphasis on sexual intimacy were shown to be more likely to be attracted to the “nice guys”. The conclusions that were drawn from the study were that “nice guys” had fewer sexual partners but were more preferred as exclusive partners.

It appears that there is a psychological basis for attraction alongside the biological factors, which reinforces the idea of beautiful minds and falling in love with personality. The next time you find yourself in a social situation don’t forget, you can catch more flies with honey, but you can catch more honeys being fly.


Table of Contents