Postures can increase your success in online dating, study says

Story highlights

  • New research looks at ideal postures in quick dating contexts
  • Study finds that posing with stretched limbs in profile pictures increases odds of success

(CNN)The power of posture reigns in the animal kingdom, where peacocks fan their feathers and chimpanzees flaunt their limbs to assert dominance and attract mates. New research suggests that humans trying online dating apps and speed-dating might want to follow their lead.

Previous studies have shown that nonverbal cues such as a smile or a nod of the head garner interest from potential romantic partners. The gestures have what scientists call "positive signal value," meaning they create the impression that you are warm and friendly, someone others want to be around.
But modern courtship rarely lasts long enough to form an impression based on meaningful, real-life interactions. Decisions are made in a matter of minutes, even seconds, with a single swipe in digital dating or a passing encounter in the real world.
    Research based on two studies found that literally extending yourself could make you more attractive in speed and online dating. In a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found that body postures involving widespread limbs and a stretched torso nearly doubles the odds of success compared with closed postures involving limbs held close to the torso, hunched over.
    It's called "postural expansiveness," and it basically refers to how much space you take up with your torso and limbs. Such "power postures" convey dominance and willingness to share those traits with others, study co-author Tanya Vacharkulksemsuk said.
    "We've seen it in the animal world, that taking up more space and maximizing presence in a physic