What makes a woman appealing to a new male acquaintance? Imitation, according to this study, published in this month's issue of the journal Social Influence.
As described here, Nicolas Gueguen, a psychologist, sent three women out to speed-date 66 men. In some of the encounters, the women mimicked the men's movements (for example, scratching a cheek) five times in five minutes, and also imitated the men's phrases (again, five times in five minutes). On other dates, the women didn't do any of that.
Men who had been imitated were more likely to say their female date was attractive, that the date had gone well, and that they wanted to give the woman their contact information.
Does it work this way when the genders are reversed? Does it work for same-sex dates in the same way? If you know, let me know in the comments.