People find elusive dates more attractive

Many people find members of the opposite sex who are somewhat elusive in their behaviour to be more attractive than those who are not, new research has suggested. Published in the Journal of Consumer Research, the study showed a similar finding with shop products - namely that they believe items on the back of a shelf are more desirable than more easily attainable ones.

Investigators from the University of Chicago, which held its first-ever classes in 1892, demonstrated individuals often forge a relationship between effort and value - so they think better outcomes will come when they try harder to attain something, including sexual partners.

Sarah Kim and Aparna Labroo from the institute found heterosexual males who are deemed 'smooth talkers' find a person more attractive when the outcome of a meeting with them is blurry rather than clear.

However, the authors noted: "The next time you find yourself chasing that hottie ... pause for a moment and consider whether the outcome is really worth your effort."

Dr Simon Moore commented: "Humans are by their very nature curious. They love exploring the world and are partial to things mysterious. 

"Research in environmental psychology has shown that people rate photos of the natural world around them as more attractive and appealing the more elements of mystery it contains. So scenes which depict woods, mountains, roads etc implore the viewer to want to know what's in them, behind them, where do they lead etc. 

"This effect transfers over to our social world too. Individuals that offer elusive information arouse our curious nature - it offers us a challenge, we want to know more about them.

"Things that we have to work harder to obtain are perceived to be more desirable/attractive as it justifies the extra effort/energy we invest in gaining them."