Are ‘Super Synchronizers’ sexier? People who mirror date’s rhythm considered more attractive: study

Are you in step with your significant other?

So-called “Super Synchronizers” are perceived as more attractive to others, according to a new study published in Communications Psychology — meaning those who naturally mirror their partners are probably more likely to get asked on a second date.

Physiological synchrony — the alignment of heart rates, breathing patterns, hormone levels and other biological processes between partners — has been previously studied and identified as a key aspect of romantic compatibility. Indeed, partners whose autonomic functions align while together tend to report higher levels of satisfaction and closeness. A similar process occurs in parents and infants.

However, a less understood aspect of partner synchronicity is how it occurs and why. The new study aimed to investigate whether synched bodies cause attraction, or if it’s a byproduct of an already forming romantic connection.

“In my lab, we study the biological mechanisms that glue two individuals together in close bonds. In this study, we aimed to discover a biological mechanism that impacts mate selection in humans and how the ability to synchronize can signify fitness,” said study author and assistant professor at Hebrew University, Shir Atzil, who directs the school’s Bonding Neuroscience Lab.

Researchers recruited 144 participants to show them a 92-second video featuring a man and a woman on a date, with examples of highly in-sync and out-of-sync interactions. After watching the videos, participants rated the man and woman in the video based on their attractiveness as well as how strongly they seemed to be attracted to each other.


Romantic Lovers couple against background night city, sky star. Concept romance date Valentine Day, first kiss love.
In this study, we aimed to discover a biological mechanism that impacts mate selection in humans and how the ability to synchronize can signify fitness,” said study author and assistant professor at Hebrew University, Shir Atzil. Parilov – stock.adobe.com

Results of the first experiment showed that the more synchronized couple scored higher attractiveness and attraction ratings compared to the unsynchronized example video.

Next, scientists enlisted 24 men and 24 women to pair up for a speed dating session in which each single sat with four other individuals for five minutes each while wearing wristbands that tracked physiological arousal levels. Before each date, participants provided first impression ratings of each proposed partner, then again rated their connection after the date. They also completed a tapping test alongside a metronome to demonstrate their ability to sync up with a non-human rhythm.

Those who synced best with humans and nonhumans alike tended to receive higher attractiveness scores from their dates than more out-of-sync individuals, and the fact that on-time tappers also synchronize better biologically suggests this trait may influence their attractiveness in a variety of interactions, romantic or otherwise. These folks scientists are now calling Super Synchronizes.


Two lovers on a date. Celebrating lovers. Valentine's day date. marriage proposal date. couple holding hands
“Being sensitive to a partner and attuning to them can help promote romantic bonding,” said Atzil. onur – stock.adobe.com

“We discovered that the ability to synchronize is stable across tasks and across partners. Some people are Super Synchronizers, and Super Synchronizers are consistently rated as more attractive,” Atzil explained. “Being sensitive to a partner and attuning to them can help promote romantic bonding. This is because synchronized physiological states can improve regulation across various bodily systems, making interactions more fulfilling and suggesting cognitive and evolutionary advantages.”

Researchers hope to continue their study by attempting to manipulate synchrony during actual dates to observe its effects on romantic interest and long-term relationship outcomes. They also hope to establish whether Super Synchronizers share certain neural, behavioral and physiological traits.

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