When it comes to relationships, there's no shortage of advice from self-help 'experts', pick-up artists, and glossy magazines. But modern-day myths of attraction often have no basis in fact or - worse - are rooted in little more than misogyny. Based on science rather than self-help clichés, psychologist Viren Swami debunks these myths and draws on cutting-edge research to provide a ground-breaking and evidence-based account of relationship formation.
At the core of this book is a very simple idea: there are no 'laws of attraction', no fool-proof methods or strategies for getting someone to date you. But this isn't to say that there's nothing to be gained from studying attraction. Based on science rather than self-help clichés, Attraction Explained looks at how factors such as geography, physical appearance, reciprocity, and similarity affect who we fall for and why.
With updated statistics, this second edition also includes new content on online dating, queer relationships, racism in dating, shyness, and individual differences. It remains an engaging and accessible introduction to attraction relationship formation for professionals, students, and general readers.
'This is a much needed and timely book, covering everything you need to know about the science of relationship formation. It is beautifully written and scrupulously referenced. There is serious science in the study of how we form relationships and this book covers the ground superbly. It remains unputdownable.'
- Prof Adrian Furnham, Professor of Psychology, broadcaster, and author
'I trusted this author at once because, unlike the psychobabblers, he says from the start that there are no "laws" of attraction and no fool-proof methods for getting someone to date you, let alone jump into bed with you. That isn't to say there's nothing to be gained from studying the processes involved in what draws us together. It's just a lot trickier than most self-help books would suggest. But with precision and no small wit - I found myself frequently laughing out loud - he explores the four key factors that shape the formation of most relationships: proximity, appearance, reciprocity and similarity. As he shows, studying attraction or relationships scientifically, far from destroying the magic and mystery of it all, can actually be helpful, whether you aspire to be lover or friend. He also satisfyingly nails my biggest bête noire: that "treat 'em mean" is any sort of relationship advice?and even more satisfyingly thrashes some of the so-called "experts" I abhor and think are downright dangerous in the "advice" they give. A great book. I'd buy it just for the laughs. But I'd recommend it - and do - to the many people who write to me as an agony aunt.'
- Suzie Hayman, agony aunt, relationship counsellor, broadcaster, and author
'This book provides a thoroughly compelling journey of over a century's worth of research on the how, what, and why of human relationships and attraction. Swami's exploration of key theories, stand-out studies, and new and exciting behavioural insights is a must read for anyone interested in understanding the science behind how we form relationships. Once you pick it up, you'll struggle to put it down.'
- Dr Daragh McDermott, Co-Editor-in-Chief of Psychology and Sexuality