One of the core concepts of Game is the principle of social proof. In a nutshell, it means that we’ll have what everyone else is having. The terms was coined by Robert B. Cialdini in his 1998 bestseller Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. It’s principal application was to marketing. Cialdini designated social proof one of the six “weapons of influence.” The most common example is canned laughter tracks in sitcoms. Though we find them annoying, research clearly demonstrates that shows using canned laughter to punctuate lines are rated funnier than other sitcoms. This kind of conformity to the responses of others is known as herd behavior.
Mystery brilliantly applied the concept to Game, demonstrating that women will find men more attractive if they’ve been “preselected” by other women. I’ve been told that the concept does not work the other way around. In other words, women are biologically programmed to value a male that is the recipient of female attention. But men are visually stimulated, and their attraction to women is determined within 5 seconds of sighting. The number of men a woman has buzzing around her is irrelevant to the way she is perceived. She’s either hot, in which case she will have a lot of guys hovering, or she’s not.
From Wikipedia, the definition of social proof:
Social value of unfamiliar people is ambiguous and requires a lot of effort to assess accurately. Given limited time and motivation, other people will often evaluate others based on how surrounding people behave towards them. For example, if a man is perceived to be in a company of attractive women, or is associated with them, then his perceived social value and attractiveness will be perceived to be greater. The implied cognition in this case would be “All those girls seem to really like him, there must be something about him that’s high value”.
If he is seen to be rejected by many women, his social value will be judged negatively. The implied cognition is then “I just saw him being rejected by many women, there is probably a good reason why they don’t like him”.
You can see why social proof is a concept that lends itself to the PUA community. In truth, however, there’s no evidence to suggest that social proof can’t work for women too. In fact, a recent study at Indiana University has demonstrated that men are affected by social proof too. It’s understandable that the approval of friends and family is important and influential when selecting a potential mate. However, this study shows that strangers play an important role as well.
As an interesting aside, most scholarly articles presenting studies have basic graphics, if any. I’ve never seen a photo of the researcher before now. In this case, however, the photo of Skyler Place has been plastered across the internet.To be honest, this is not my type AT ALL, but I can’t help but wonder if this very alpha looking dude is supposed to give his research project credibility via social proof.
The experiment consisted of 40 college men and 40 college women watching a speed dating video. They were then asked to indicate whether they would like to see more of the person in the video.
Clearly, men take their cues from dominant men. They determine who’s hot according to what the most socially dominant males find attractive. This functions as social proof for women, but it also raises the question of whether men are realistic in their hopes. In the old paradigm of dating, during an era when men exchanged commitment for sex, 10s dated 10s and 5s dated 5s, more or less. With female sexuality unleashed, we understand that many women are gunning for the men with the most social proof. This can be easily observed on any college campus. This study suggests that perhaps men are falling victim to the same unrealistic long-term expectations. Because women are the gatekeepers to sex, they have found it relatively easy to gain sexual access to the men with the most social proof. For men, it’s a very different matter. They may desire a woman with considerable social proof, i.e. the campus hottie, but if they don’t have social proof of their own they’re unlikely to succeed in attracting her attention. Everyone has set their sights on the most attractive members of both sexes. The end result is that many young women are romantically frustrated, and many young men are sexually frustrated.
At the end of the day, dating is sales. It’s a matter of marketing your particular benefit package. You really can’t do it all on your own. Both men and women want evidence of your desirability as perceived by selective others. That is determined largely by your ability to demonstrate belief in your product: YOU.
Think carefully about what you have to offer in the sexual marketplace. What is your competitive advantage? Are you willing to be in a relationship? Are you willing to demonstrate absolute sexual loyalty? Are you intriguing? Are you funny? Do you have a banging bod?
Evaluate yourself objectively. We all have assets. Then go out and sell the hell out of them.