What is the suspension bridge effect?

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What is the suspension bridge effect?

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Imagine you’re crossing a bridge that’s swaying back and forth. Your heart starts to pound, because you’re afraid of falling.

While you’re crossing the bridge, you see someone that’s very attractive to you. Your heart would usually start pounding when you see that person because of romantic arousal.

The suspension bridge effect is what happens when you assume that the heart pounding is for romantic reasons, not fear of death reasons. This can cause you to view that person as even more attractive, because the feelings associated with fear are very close to those associated with romantic arousal.

The suspension bridge effect is the tendency for a group of people to conform to the actions of the majority, even if they do not agree with them. This is often seen in groups of people who are gathered together, such as in a classroom or at a meeting. The suspension bridge effect is named for the way that a suspension bridge hangs from cables, which allows it to sway with the wind. This swaying motion can cause a group of people to move in the same direction, even if they do not want to.

The bodily sensations of anxiety and attraction can overlap, heart racing, nerves, sweating, etc. If you are in an anxiety inducing situation you might find a person more attractive than you normally would due to this phenomenon. In psychology it’s called misattribution of arousal.