Romantic chemistry is all about warm, gooey feelings that gush from the deepest depths of the heart…right? Not quite. Actually, the real boss behind attraction is your brain, which runs through a very quick, very complex series of calculations when assessing a potential partner. Dawn Maslar explores how our five senses contribute to this mating game, citing some pretty wild studies along the way.






  • gooey – excessively sweet or sentimental
  • to gush – to flow or send out quickly and in large amounts
  • fuzzy – relating to, or invoking pleasant and usually sentimental emotions
  • budding – beginning to develop
  • lustrous – very shiny
  • fertility – the ability to conceive children
  • to nudge – to push someone gently
  • to attune – to make receptive or aware
  • tactile – connected with the sense of touch
  • to warp – to bend or twist

Answer the questions:

  • Why are the eyes the first components in attraction?
  • What are some signs of youth, fertility and good health?
  • What’s the nose’s contribution to romance?
  • How are ears help ful in determining attraction?
  • Which sense turns out crucial for romance?
  • Why is the first kiss described as infamous in the video?

Practice Makes Perfect

Replace the words in bold in the article with the ones below: 


thus      more appealing              occur                  callous               bias      

unaffected        mindful              blatantly            exposure          came across as

The Follies of Speed Swiping in Dating Apps

Ideally, any potential date deserves a fresh look, 1. uninfluenced by what you thought of the last person you saw. But new research suggests that we may not be giving prospects a fair chance when we switch or swipe from one profile to another on dating apps and Web sites.

In a study described in March in Scientific Reports, female subjects saw men’s faces on a screen for 300 milliseconds—about the length of a very short view on a dating app such as Tinder. After each face, they judged it attractive or not. The researchers found that faces were more likely to be judged attractive when they followed other attractive faces. (…)

Previous studies have shown contrast effects, in which people in photographs look uglier when viewed next to portraits of attractive strangers. But in the new study, the 2. showing was so brief that an individual face was not fully processed, and 3. consequently it took on qualities of the previous face. Jessica Taubert, one of the lead authors of the paper and a researcher at the University of Sydney, advises online daters: “Be 4. conscious that your brain has limited cortical resources.” In other words, slow down!

In another new paper, in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, researchers asked whether contrast effects 5. happen when judging personality. Participants viewed two dating profiles. When the first person 6. seemed  uncaring (“I get bored talking about feelings and stuff”), the second person, who was nice but unattractive, seemed much 7. nicer. In real profiles, people might not appear as 8. openly 9. insensitive as in this study, but other personality traits could be turnoffs that 10. impact unfairly viewers’ later decisions.


Go to: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-follies-of-speed-swiping-in-dating-apps to check your answers.


Key: 1. unaffected; 2. exposure; 3. thus; 4. mindful; 5. occur; 6. came across as; 7. more appealing; 8. blatantly; 9. callous; 10. bias




  • What image springs to mind when you hear the word ‘love’?
  • Is love important?
  • What is your favourite love song /film about love?
  • What would your life be like without love?
  •  Are there any rules to love?
  • What kind of love is the best one?
  • Is there a thin line between love and hate?


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