Yes, we realise that headline looks like one of those infuriating adverts promising to "make you irresistible to all women with one simple trick" - but that's exactly what the researchers of the University of North Carolina's psychology department claim to have identified.
Apparently a man's storytelling ability directly affects their attractiveness and perceived status amongst women. If you can spin a yarn on a par with a Shakespearean tragedy, it makes you far more attractive than someone with no sense of narrative.
Researchers John Donahue and Melanie Green asked 388 students to rate the attractiveness of a potential partner based on a printed profile. Participants received a photo and a short bio on the suitor, including information on their storytelling abilities. Some of the candidates were described as 'strong' storytellers, that they would "often tells really good stories… he makes the characters and settings come alive." Other bios told of their "mediocre" story telling, or didn't make mention of it at all.
While strong female storytellers didn't appear to tempt male participants to any notable degree, women indicated more interest in those men with strong storytelling skills over those who lacked them.
A second stage of the study saw the added question of "Do you think this person would make a good spouse?". For both male and female participants, those with a 'strong' storytelling ability were perceived to have a 'higher status' and thus would make a good spouse - but while men didn't find this related to a woman's attractiveness, answers showed that women also related the skill to attraction.
According to Donahue and Green, the link between good storytelling and attraction could stem from a biological urge in women to seek out mates who are apparently resourceful, with storytelling aptitude apparently reflecting additional survival advantage. That, or, while men might be socialised to be suspicious of women that take away focus in social situations, women are more naturally inclined to appreciate first impressions of male competence.
So, ditch the dating app, prop yourself up at the nearest bar and start reciting that brilliant story about the time Tim from accounts got his tie stuck in the printer...
[Via: Research Digest]