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Effects of reciprocity on attraction: The role of a partner's physical attractiveness


  • The research reported in this manuscript was made possible by German Research Foundation Grant GR 1882/12-1.

Tobias Greitemeyer, University of Innsbruck, Innrain 52, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria, e-mail:


Two studies examined whether expectations of reciprocal desire had a greater impact on people's desire for a potential partner the more the partner was physically attractive. Study 1 showed that a reciprocity manipulation had a greater impact on participants' desire for attractive, relative to moderately attractive, and relatively unattractive potential partners. In Study 2, after learning of a potential partner's desire, desire for highly attractive, relative to attractive, potential partners increased to a larger extent. Mediation analyses showed that this effect was due to the participant's initial expectations of reciprocal desire. In contrast, after learning of a potential partner's lack of desire, participant's desire for highly attractive and attractive potential partners decreased to a similar extent.