Say you’ve matched with someone on Tinder. You both had to swipe right, so it’s safe to say you find each other attractive or intriguing—or maybe one person’s hand slipped. Regardless, it gives you a boost of confidence when chatting with them. So when they send you a text, you reply almost immediately. (We all know how attached we are to our smartphones, so it’s silly to pretend you didn’t see their message.) Plus, we’re all big boys and girls here: No need for those petty, childish games where you wait 10 minutes or maybe an hour to text them back, right?
Actually, science would say you should wait, at least a little. Here’s the basic explanation, care of a quick excerpt from Aziz Ansari’s book Modern Romance:
In recent years behavioral scientists have shed some light on why waiting techniques can be powerful. Let’s first look at the notion that texting back right away makes you less appealing. Psychologists have conducted hundreds of studies in which they reward lab animals in different ways under different conditions. One of the most intriguing findings is that “reward uncertainty”—in which, for instance, animals cannot predict whether pushing a lever will get them food—can dramatically increase their interest in getting a reward, while also enhancing their dopamine levels so that they basically feel coked up.
If a text back from someone is considered a “reward,” consider the fact that lab animals who get rewarded …