Blind at First Sight: The Role of Distinctively Accurate and Positive First Impressions in Romantic Interest

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Description: Viewing others with distinctive accuracy – the degree to which personality impressions corresponds with targets’ unique characteristics – often predict positive interpersonal experiences, including liking and relationship satisfaction. Does this hold in the context of first dates, or might distinctive accuracy have negative links with romantic interest in such evaluative settings? We examined this with two speed-dating samples (N1 = 172, Ndyad = 2407; N2 = 397, Ndyad = 1849). Not surprisingly, positive impressions of potential dating partners were strongly associated with greater romantic interest. In contrast, distinctively accurate impressions were associated with significantly less romantic interest. This association was even stronger for potential partners whose personalities were less romantically appealing, specifically, those lower in extraversion. In sum, on a first date, distinctive accuracy tends to be paired with lower romantic interest. The potential implications of distinctive accuracy for romantic interest and of interest for distinctive accuracy are discussed.

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