Would you go to bed with me?

A new book on unusual experiments covers a study by psychologist Russell Clark that involved good-looking researchers approaching strangers of the opposite sex and telling them that they had seen them around and found them very attractive. Then they either asked them for a date, to come back to the researcher’s apartment, or to go to bed with them.

If this seems strangely familiar, it’s because the main set up line for the study (“I have been noticing you around campus. I find you to be attractive. Would you go to bed with me tonight?”) was used almost verbatim for the main hook of the pop song ‘Would you…?’ by Touch and Go.

If you don’t recognise the name, you’ll almost certainly recognise the song, as it was a huge hit in ’98 and has been used almost constantly since for adverts, television and radio.

The original video doesn’t seem to be available online, but there’s a quirky version on YouTube where some Belgian students have created their own video.

It is, as far as I know, the only pop song with lyrics based on the protocol for a psychology experiment.

The results of the study? As if you had to ask, almost all the men said yes, none of the women did.

It doesn’t even come close to the greatest psychology study ever completed though, which also involved beautiful women, sex and danger. But that’ll have to wait for another time.

Link to abstract of study.
Link to brief write-up (via BB).
Link to fan tribute to Touch and Go’s ‘Would you…?’

5 thoughts on “Would you go to bed with me?”

  1. Fun little bit of random trivia: the music for “Would You…?” was written by the same chap that composed the BBC News music, David Lowe.
    On his website, http://www.davidlowemusic.com/, he says, “When I wrote this, I had absolutely no idea that it would be such a massive hit. It was a great moment listening to the chart show, when it went in at number three. I’m still trying to figure out what I did right..”

  2. The reference you are looking for is as follows:
    Dutton, D. G., & Aron, A. P. (1974). Some evidence for heightened sexual attraction under conditions of high anxiety. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 30(4): 510-517.
    It is definitely worth discussing for its cleverness, but “greatest psychology experiment ever completed” probably should go to Milgram’s (1963) study on obedience(?).

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