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Abstract

Folk wisdom suggests playing hard to get is an effective strategy in romantic attraction. However, prior research has yielded little support for this belief. This article seeks to reconcile these contrasting views by investigating how 2 hitherto unconsidered factors, (a) the asymmetry between wanting (motivational) and liking (affective) responses and (b) the degree of psychological commitment, can determine the efficacy of playing hard to get. We propose that person B playing hard to get with person A will simultaneously increase A's wanting but decrease A's liking of B. However, such a result will only occur if A is psychologically committed to pursuing further relations with B; otherwise, playing hard to get will decrease both wanting and liking. Two studies confirm these propositions. We discuss implications for interpersonal attraction and the interplay between emotion and motivation in determining preferences. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
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... Furthermore, research has found sufficient evidence to suggest that the playing hard-toget strategy increases feelings of desire in others. However, some researchers have reported that wanting (having a desire to pursue someone) may not equate to increasing liking(affective appeal of an individual) in them (Dai et al., 2014). In support of these findings, Walster et al., (1973) found that playing easy-to-get evoked more positive evaluation for potential partners, and limiting availability decreased liking and romantic attraction. ...
... In support of these findings, Walster et al., (1973) found that playing easy-to-get evoked more positive evaluation for potential partners, and limiting availability decreased liking and romantic attraction. Additionally, playing hard-to-get may increase wanting in an individual if there is a romantic interest apparent from the beginning (Dai et al., 2014).Furthermore, other researchers have reported that people have a decreased attraction towards those individual who elude an extreme hard-to-get stance (Reysen & Katzarska-Miller, 2013;Walster et al., 1973). Therefore, prior research defines the role of playing hard to get in the context of romantic attraction and its effectiveness; however research also illustrates that playing easy to get yields more liking response, and playing hard-to-get elicits more wanting in individuals. ...
... Previous streams of research have shown great support for Supply and Demand Mating Models, in relation to appearing selective on dating choices. To give an illustration, Tormala, Jia, and Norton (2012),explained that the idealisation of a prospective mate exhibits more attraction than the actualisation of a prospective, for the reason that the concept of uncertainty, induces appeal, interest and a deeper information processing (As cited in Dai et al.,2014). ...
Thesis
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The interaction between psychological commitment and perceived limited availability; in the context of playing hard-to-get Elif Gur Word count: 9,948
... Beyond these definitional and methodological concerns, past studies have mainly focused on the effect of playing hard to get on general romantic interest rather than on the sexual desire that it might arouse. Discounting this key aspect of relationship initiation is surprising, given that the affective and motivational responses to playing hard to get might diverge, as indicated by research showing that playing hard to get decreases liking toward an interaction partner but can increase the motivation to pursue that partner, if one is already committed to doing so (Dai et al., 2014). In all likelihood, sexual desire for a potential partner functions as a visceral indicator of this partner's mate value that predicts exertions toward relationship pursuit (Birnbaum & Finkel, 2015;Birnbaum & Reis, 2019). ...
... A limitation of this study, however, in addition to its correlational nature, is that it was unknown how participants inferred that their potential dates were selective. A subsequent experiment indicated that manipulating playing hard to get by exhibiting a lack of responsiveness (e.g., displaying an indifferent facial expression, only passively responding to the participants' questions) decreased participants' desire to date a potential partner, unless they felt committed to pursuing further relationships with this partner (Dai et al., 2014). Overall, drawing conclusions from these studies is difficult not only because of differences in the operational definition of playing hard to get and because of mixed results but also because engaging in speed dating necessarily conveys the impression that an individual wants to date, thus making the hard to get condition seem fairly rejecting. ...
... Prior research has used various operational definitions of being hard to get (e.g., feigning romantic disinterest by exhibiting a lack of responsiveness or by having limited availability), yielding conflicting results about the effectiveness of using the "hard to get" strategy for alluring mates (e.g., Dai et al., 2014;Jonason & Li, 2013). Furthermore, existing studies that did support this mating strategy did not provide evidence for a compelling explanation for its success (e.g., Dai et al., 2014;Reysen & Katzarska-Miller, 2013). ...
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Playing hard-to-get is a common strategy used to attract mates. Past research has been unclear about whether and why this strategy facilitates mate pursuit. In three studies, we examined whether perceiving potential partners as hard-to-get instigated sexual desire and whether perceived partner mate value explained this effect. In doing so, we focused on tactics that give the impression that potential partners are hard-to-get and may genuinely signal their mate value (being selective in choosing mates, efforts invested in their pursuit). In all studies, participants interacted with an opposite-sex confederate and rated their perceptions of the confederate. In Study 1, participants interacted with confederates whose profile indicated that they were either hard-to-get or easy-to-attract. In Study 2, participants exerted (or not) real efforts to attract the confederate. In Study 3, interactions unfolded spontaneously and were coded for efforts made to see the confederate again. Results indicated that the perception of whether a confederate was hard-to-get was associated with their mate value, which, in turn, predicted greater desire and efforts to see the confederate again, suggesting that being hard-to-get is an effective strategy that heightens perceptions of partners’ mate value.
... Other investigations have looked at behavior that might instill a sense of uncertainty over another's reciprocity of feelings, such as a lack of responsiveness and playing "hard-to-get" (Birnbaum et al., 2016;Birnbaum & Reis, 2012;Dai et al., 2014;Reysen, & Katzarska-Miller, 2013). These studies too have found mixed evidence for uncertainty or certainty inducing behaviors increasing romantic passion. ...
... This was suggested to be due to women being more selective, potentially perceiving responsive men as desperate and less dominant, making them less sexually appealing (Eastwick et al., 2007). In another series of studies, which only included male participants, participants liked an "easy-to-get" partner over a "hard-to-get" partner who seemed less interested in them romantically (Dai et al., 2014). Thus, uncertainty may potentially play a larger role in the development of feelings of passion for women. ...
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In an integrative review, we examine four theories and models of romantic passion to determine what causes feelings of romantic passion. Although a growing consensus has emerged for the definition of romantic passion, we suggest that this is largely not the case for the source of romantic passion. We outline how four different perspectives—Limerence Theory, the Rate of Change in Intimacy Model, the Self‐Expansion Model, and the Triangular Theory of Love—propose four different potential sources of romantic passion and review empirical support in favor and against each. For each of these perspectives, we additionally outline the predicted trajectory of passion that follows from each theorized source of passion, as well as each perspective's view on the ability for passion to be controlled and up‐regulated. In identifying ways in which these theories and models offer conflicting predictions about the source of romantic passion, this review points to ways in which a more comprehensive model may be developed that integrates across these four perspectives.
... Similarly, being thwarted from obtaining a desirable target leads people to want it more but to like it less (Litt, Khan, & Shiv, 2010). Applied to the present research paradigm, this stream of research would suggest that people's evaluation of a task (i.e., liking) may not always align with the extent to which they are motivated to complete the task (i.e., wanting; Dai, Dong, & Jia, 2014). Therefore, the extant findings concerning the effect of progress focus on task motivation might not be relevant to its effect on task evaluation. ...
... While our theorization suggests that feelings of productivity are good for task evaluation during the whole task, Huang and Zhang (2011) findings indicate that feelings of productivity increase motivation when people are near the beginning but decrease motivation when people are near the end (see also Louro et al., 2007). Additionally, previous research focuses mainly on identifying factors that trigger divergent effects on liking and wanting (Dai et al., 2014;Kim & Labroo, 2011;Litt et al., 2010). Our findings, however, suggest people's evaluation of a task (i.e., liking) and their motivation to complete it (i.e., wanting) may diverge at some stage of task completion, but may converge at another stage. ...
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Across six studies, the present research explores the effect of task progress focus—that is, attending to the distance of one's present state from either the beginning of a task (i.e., accumulated focus) or the end of it (i.e., remaining focus)—on task evaluation and subsequently on future task perseverance (i.e., willingness to perform the task again upon finishing it). The results show that relative to accumulated focus, remaining focus increases people's feelings of productivity on the task, which increases their task evaluation and subsequently their perseverance intentions toward the task. Moreover, we find that remaining (vs. accumulated) focus increases task evaluation regardless of whether people are in the early stage of the task or near the end. However, it decreases people's motivation to complete the task in the former stage but increases their motivation in the latter stage. Alternative interpretations in terms of task duration, self-efficacy beliefs, and task quantity are evaluated and ruled out.
... Even though momentary dissociations of "wanting" and "liking" are at the heart of many chronic clinical psychological conditions (e.g., Rømer Thomsen et al., 2015;Olney et al., 2018), they are not in themselves pathological (Dill and Holton, 2014). Rather, the closeness of the relationship between "wanting" and "liking" fluctuates in healthy individuals (Epstein et al., 2003;Hobbs et al., 2005;Dai et al., 2010Dai et al., , 2014Litt et al., 2010). An illustrative example is the moment after finishing a delicious meal. ...
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Two decades ago, the introduction of the Implicit Association Test (IAT) sparked enthusiastic reactions. With implicit measures like the IAT, researchers hoped to finally be able to bridge the gap between self-reported attitudes on one hand and behavior on the other. Twenty years of research and several meta-analyses later, however, we have to conclude that neither the IAT nor its derivatives have fulfilled these expectations. Their predictive value for behavioral criteria is weak and their incremental validity over and above self-report measures is negligible. In our review, we present an overview of explanations for these unsatisfactory findings and delineate promising ways forward. Over the years, several reasons for the IAT’s weak predictive validity have been proposed. They point to four potentially problematic features: First, the IAT is by no means a pure measure of individual differences in associations but suffers from extraneous influences like recoding. Hence, the predictive validity of IAT-scores should not be confused with the predictive validity of associations. Second, with the IAT, we usually aim to measure evaluation (“liking”) instead of motivation (“wanting”). Yet, behavior might be determined much more often by the latter than the former. Third, the IAT focuses on measuring associations instead of propositional beliefs and thus taps into a construct that might be too unspecific to account for behavior. Finally, studies on predictive validity are often characterized by a mismatch between predictor and criterion (e.g., while behavior is highly context-specific, the IAT usually takes into account neither situation nor domain). Recent research, however, also revealed advances addressing each of these problems, namely (1) procedural and analytical advances to control for recoding in the IAT, (2) measurement procedures to assess implicit wanting, (3) measurement procedures to assess implicit beliefs, and (4) approaches to increase the fit between implicit measures and behavioral criteria (e.g., by incorporating contextual information). Implicit measures like the IAT hold an enormous potential. In order to allow them to fulfill this potential, however, we have to refine our understanding of these measures, and we should incorporate recent conceptual and methodological advancements. This review provides specific recommendations on how to do so.
... Termed reciprocal liking (Montoya & Horton, 2013), to the extent that individuals expect a partner will like them, they report that they like the partner more (e.g., Condo & Crano, 1988); such effects have been demonstrated for both long-term and short-term liking (Lehr & Geher, 2006). Individuals like partners who "play hard to get" less (i.e., show disinterest; Dai, Dong, & Jia, 2014). Kenny and Nasby (1980) discussed reciprocity of attraction in terms of social relations, indicating that attraction ratings are "explainable not in terms of who the people are but in 1 Past research has also demonstrated that positive affect may result in greater attraction. ...
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When others disagree with us, we like them more if they shift their attitude toward ours (i.e., engage in attitude alignment), but why? This article examined the effects of partner attitude alignment on dyadic (trust, inferred attraction) and personal (respect, perceived reasoning ability) evaluations. In two experiments, participants received feedback that imagined (Experiment 1) or real (Experiment 2) partners engaged (vs. did not engage) in attitude alignment; rated partners on trust, inferred attraction, respect (Experiments 1 and 2), and perceived reasoning ability (Experiment 2); and reported attraction. Individuals were more attracted to partners who engaged in attitude alignment because they viewed them as more trustworthy and worthy of respect and as possessing greater reasoning ability. The role of inferred attraction was unclear.
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Rationale for Motivational Systems Theory Theoretical Foundation for Motivational Systems Theory The Living Systems Framework Defining Motivation and Its Role in Effective Human Functioning Personal Goals Directing and Organizing Behavior Through Cognitive Representations of Desired and Undesired Outcomes Personal Agency Beliefs and Emotional Arousal Processes Regulating Behavior Through the Integration of Cognition and Affect Integration of Historical and Contemporary Theories of Motivation Goals, Emotions, and Personal Agency Beliefs How to 'Motivate' People General Principles and Specific Applications to Enduring Problems in Child and Adolescent Development, Education, Business, and Counseling and Everyday Living Summary of Motivational Systems Theory
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