So the researchers decided to explore whether having males literally walking up to seated females was having a psychological effect.

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Eastwick from Northwestern University, suggest that when it comes to mate selection men and women might not be as different as we think.

In this study, 350 undergraduates were recruited for speed-dating events.

Later, the participants note down whom they would like to meet again.

If there is a match, the organizers help the people to get in touch.

Finkel and Eastwick argue that approaching someone makes the mind want what it is approaching, because people are in the habit of moving towards objects that they want and moving away from objects that they don't want.

"I would like to see the finding replicated with other populations and other methods …

but if there are robust effects of motion leading to changes in mate choice, that does indeed suggest an effect of embodiment that should be explored further," says Peter Todd, a psychologist at Indiana University in Bloomington, who has collected data suggesting that women are more selective than men during speed dates. "These are undergraduate men in this study and we know that female waist-to-hip ratio is very important to them," says Robert Kurzban at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, who has also published speed-dating studies showing that women are more selective than men.

"In scenarios with men sitting and women rotating, those seated men could have become more selective simply because they could gather more waist-to-hip information than men who only socialized with seated women." Regardless of the reason for the effect, Finkel and Eastwick's findings have the potential to force a re-analysis of data collected from earlier speed-dating studies.

Many studies — such as those that use speed-dating interactions as 'stimuli', with third-party individuals watching a speed date and being asked to judge the romantic interest of others — would not be affected.