Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Daniel Krauss

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© 2015 Jackson S. Doyle


Historically, “playing hard-to-get” or unclearly expressing interest in a potential romantic partner has been regarded as an effective means to elicit a potential partner’s interest and attraction. This study examined the effects of gender and expressed interest (clear or unclear) on returned interest in potential long-term romantic partners. Male (N = 54) and female (N = 63) undergraduate students were administered a vignette, in which the person expressed either clear or unclear romantic interest in the participant. Results indicated that men were not influence by expressed interest in either condition. In contrast, women responded with significantly greater returned interest in the clearly-expressed interest condition than in the unclearly-expressed interest. This effect may be due to the greater assumed supportiveness and lower relative social-status of the person in the clearly-expressed interest vignette. Implications for gender differences in long-term partner preferences are discussed.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.