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.

chapter 1|27 pages

Cupid’s Arrow

Or, a Brief History of Attraction Theories, Why We Need a Science of Relationship Formation, and What This Book is All about

chapter 2|48 pages

Getting up Close and Personal

Or, Why Geography Matters, How the Internet is (and isn’t) Changing How We Form Relationships, and a Beauty-Map of London

chapter 3|39 pages

Appearance Matters

Or, How We Judge Books by Their Covers, How Men aren’t from Mars and Women aren’t from Venus, and Why What is Beautiful is Good

chapter 4|40 pages

Appearance Matters, Part II

Or, How Other Things Matter Too, Why Nice Guys Don’t Always Finish Last, and How Love is Sometimes Blind

chapter 5|47 pages

Liking Those Who like Us

Or, How I like You because You like Me, Thirty-Six Questions that May (or May Not) Change Your Life, and Why Playing Hard-to-Get is … Hard

chapter 6|42 pages

Birds of a Feather

Or, Why We like People Who are Similar to Ourselves, How We Match on Attitudes (and Other Traits), and Why Opposites Sometimes Attract

chapter 7|35 pages

The End of the Beginning

Or, Why Life outside the Lab Makes Fools of All of Us and, to Conclude, Some Life-Changing Advice