“Playing hard to get” Strategy Works Well on Man Who is Psychologically Committed

“Playing hard to get” is believed to be one of the most elusive dating tactics. Prof. Xianchi Dai concluded in his research that “playing hard to get” can induce stronger motivational responses from evaluators who are already psychologically committed to the player. Find out more about the research in news stories published in various local and regional media publications.

One of the most elusive dating tactics since the beginning of time has to be “playing hard to get”. “Playing hard to get” remains a sought-after strategy many yearn to master in a romantic relationship – as shown by the prevalence of related advice on dating columns or the internet.

Xianchi Dai, Associate Professor of Department of Marketing at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Business School, together with two coauthors, collaborated in a research to find out the psychology behind and what contribute to the success or failure of “playing hard to get”.

Conducted with students from CUHK, the study consists of two experiments, namely a mental simulation and an actual speed-dating study. Both experiments consistently prove that “playing hard to get” can induce stronger motivational responses from evaluators who are already psychologically committed to the player. When there is no psychological commitment, however, “playing hard to get” yields weaker motivational responses than “playing easy to get”. Also, “playing easy to get” always induces more positive affective evaluations of likings, regardless of the degree of prior psychological commitment.

Prof. Dai’s research paper was first published on the School’s China Business Knowledge (CBK) website in a feature article titled “Does ‘Playing Hard to Get’ Increase Romantic Attraction?“. The Marketing and Communications Office at CUHK Business School disseminated the article’s English, Chinese and Korean version to more than 12,311 media in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and over 20 countries in Asia Pacific. It has been widely picked up by the media around the world, with 384 clippings generated so far. The campaign on the research has also successfully drawn attention from the media such as New Straits Times from Malaysia, Sohu (PDF), Sina (PDF), Yahoo! (PDF) and more.

Prof. Dai’s research is particularly popular among the Hong Kong media. On 17 and 18 May 2018, a wave of media pickups appeared in mainstream local dailies and some online media outlets, including Apple Daily (story 1, 2) (PDF 1, 2), Oriental Daily News (PDF), HK01 (PDF), The Stand News (PDF) and Orange News (PDF), as well as the city’s most influential broadcast media, RTHK’s 31 TV channel in its morning TV programme called “This Morning”(早辰.早晨).

In addition, the Taiwan-based 30+ magazine (PDF) also published an article with Prof. Dai’s research quoted.

The Hong Kong media stories are in Chinese. Please click the image below to view the RTHK 31 TV programme.

Source: 30+/Apple Daily/HK01/Oriental Daily News/The Stand News/RTHK/Orange News
Date published: 17 & 18 May 2018

Photo: Visual China Group