No one likes a manspreader — or so we thought. But according to the Guardian, a team of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have found that people who spread themselves out seem more attractive to strangers.
"Based on our results garnered from thousands of single persons at an actual speed dating event, and using a dating application, it is evident that postural expansion can dramatically increase a person's chances of making a successful initial romantic connection," the study's lead researcher, Tanya Vacharkulksemsuk, said.
Which is to say, stretching out one's limbs is a boon when hoping to ensnare a love interest, according to science.
Looking at both speed-dating interactions and, subsequently, stats from a "Tinder-style app," Vacharkulksemsuk and her team determined that men and women "who adopted more 'expansive' postures" elicited more interest from potential partners than did people who "hunched themselves up," the Guardian reported.
For those looking to up their dating app success rate, know that photos in which the subject leans back and kicks up their feet are more likely to get a right swipe than those featuring a person with crossed arms or legs. This is because such poses convey a sense of dominance and openness, which strangers find alluring; power posers "tend to do better in the workplace and open people are more willing to share what they have in life," the researchers believe.
And while it's true that unguarded body language appears to be more attractive, these findings don't necessarily mean that we subconsciously love manspreaders, nor do they mean we want to hurl our bodies at their space-consuming selves whenever we see them inconveniencing others on the morning commute. Context is key.
While a person with arms spread wide may well be more attractive in a photo or a dating situation, on a crowded train, a person taking up what should realistically be two seats with their sprawling legs is likely to provoke ire, in short because it's selfish. Or, if the manspread communicates a man's readiness for sex (with the junk-bearing), that's also likely to read as creepy on public transit.
Selfish or creepy, take your pick. Or, because science also suggests that nice, considerate men are preferable to douchebags in the dating world, save the limb stretching for your Tinder profile and keep 'em closed on the subway.