The Benjamin Franklin Effect | The Science of Love
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The Benjamin Franklin Effect | The Science of Love


Participant 1: Stop it!
P2: Okay! [laughs] Julian: How do you get someone to like you? You do something nice for them? Cook them
dinner? By them gifts? Always pay for the bill? How often have you gone out of your
way to put in the extra mile for someone who just totally failed you. It’s called the Benjamin
Franklin Effect. The more time, effort, or work you put towards someone, the more you
are personally invested in them. And the more you like them, you’ll want them to work out.
But when you don’t let them lift a finger, you’re actually eliminating opportunities
for them to invest in the relationship! How can you care about something you don’t have
a stake in? Today, we’re going to show you how it works and prove it! First, we brought
in a selection of couples and had each person take a thirty question test, which told us
exactly how attracted they were towards each other. Julian: Alright finished? Okay! Now, we’re going to need a volunteer!
P3: I’ll volunteer! P1: I volunteer you!
P4: I volunteer Barbara. P5: I’ll volunteer.
Julian: We asked for one person to act as our volunteer and then we kicked them out
of the building. Julian: Okay, you have been volunteered to
go outside! Sorry! Julian: You’re going to have to go wait outside!
P3: Oh no! P5: Alright cool!
Julian: And you can’t leave! This way, they had no clue what we were up to.
We gave the person who stayed a large blank picket sign and asked them to write a message
to the other person that expressed how they felt about them. And we had them go outside
and stand by the door for a minute so the other person could read it! P3: Me too! Julian: And time! Come on back inside!
P3: I love you! P2: I love you too!
Julian: Alright, that was that! Afterwards, we had that person come back in,
and write down five things that they liked about the person. Then we gave our volunteer
a bullhorn and told them to go outside and read off their list. Finally, we had them
run back out and fetch them something to drink! P1: Can you hear me?
P4: Barbara! Barbara I’d like to tell you that you’re funny!
P2: Your sense of humor, which matches mine exactly.
P6: Your giggle! P2: Your laugh and your smile!
P6: How you write your random nonsense songs. P2: Your creative flare.
P6: Your can do attitude! P4: You’re adventurous!
P6: How you handle life’s curveballs. P4: You’re goal oriented!
P2: Your compassion for others, especially your willingness to go out of your way to
help your friends. P4: You’re a great mother and you’re fun to
be with. P2: And your level-headedness in a town full
of insane people. Julian: [whispers] Ask her if she’d like something
to drink. P4: Would you like something to drink?
P7: Okay! P4: We’ve got water, some soda, some coffee!
P7: Water is great. P4: Okay, coming up!
P6: Would you like something to drink? P5: Water would be great!
P8: And I really get a coffee! P1: Enjoy!
P8: Did you put something in it? P1: Maybe, you’ll find out! P3: Yay! Do you get to stay? P2: I don’t think so! You’re welcome!
Julian: When they finished their marathon of niceness we retested how attractive they
were to each other. Those who went out of their way to be super nice to their partner
became as much as five percent more attractive. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t do brave,
beautiful acts of kindness towards someone you like, but just make sure you allow room
in the relationship for the other person to also give it back and invest in you! So maybe
don’t insist on paying the bill every time and driving to their place every time. Give
them a shot to invest and put just as much into it as you do. Whether you’re trying to
get into a relationship or deep into a long term one, give your partner
a chance to contribute to it! I’m Julian, and this has been
The Science of Love. SoulPancake
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100 thoughts on “The Benjamin Franklin Effect | The Science of Love

  1. This is so cool!! man, Im literally doing this right now with a dude I want to be friends with! Thank you soulpancake!

  2. Thank You so much for this video. I have experienced this with a friend of mine. I would always do stuff for him and even though I didn't always get my way I almost always insisted on paying for things or doing stuff for him. He has now since moved out of state and we barely talk anymore. Guess who makes the effort to call the other person? That's right, me. He never calls me and when I do call him he almost never picks up. I now can see why that happens and am extremely grateful for this video. Thank you again so much.

  3. Love should always be mutual–and when it is not it should always be thoughtful. To love another and not be loved back is still a wondrous thing: no person chooses how or who they feel for and this type of feeling should always be said and expressed for it is always worth saying and expressing.

    All I desire in this life is for us to face the truths of our reality, our mortality, and our humanity for all that it is–so that we may become the truest humans possible. I talk about philosophy and societal topics that pertain to this endeavor. That is all, no more no less.
    May we always progress and may we never stop learning from each other. Good day to you all 🙂

  4. That's actually cool and helpful 🙂 would've helped me in my last relationship. This channel always does a good job!

  5. They didn't tell us about the people who didn't do anything. How much did their attraction to the others increase?  Or did I miss it?

  6. The presenter of this show or series whatever!… Is Awsome… Dude I swear I just laugh when he makes this small remarks on things… He really makes this a little more awsome…. haha I used the word "awsome" twice..

  7. i hope you giuys post more videos like these thanks to all those drama shows on tv and DNA test i think its put people in to a mental shock so now people are running around confused. i think more shows like these would help build better relationships 😀 <3 x10

  8. Hmmmm. There's only straight couples here. Maybe next time do you think could include both straight and gay people in your next video about love and relationships? I'm not trying to assume that anyone isn't allowed to participate, I was just making an important observation.

  9. Thought you guys might want to watch this, maybe make a new episode (or even your next season {SoulPancake: The Science of Attraction}) with this
    The science of attraction – Dawn Maslar

  10. Oh my goodness I love these videos! They always make me teary eyed and they make me miss my boyfriend xD but these videos are very very beautiful and heart warming!

  11. Successful relationships thrive on the five to one ratio. For every negative comment or action, five positive comments or gestures should follow. Mutual reward theory people, LOVE ON! <3

  12. Ain't nobody got time for that. We ain't getting any younger. Roofie that bitch, if she ain't down with it after you doing all that.

  13. I actually have been rejected and cheated on many times, and now I actually understand why. (I give too much and don't receive enough) 

  14. The theory is certainly pretty solid and I, for one, would follow it without needing proof — however, sorry to be 'that guy' but as an experiment, this doesn't really work. For a start, each couple can see what the other is writing, not only once but both times, which, whether truthful or not, their answers become void. And we don't see this put into practice on a large scale; a handful of couples doesn't really prove anything.

  15. sadly, my bf doesn't really put any effort into this relationship… and i usually go out of my way to make him happy…so….

  16. This was sincerely very helpful to me. It was a really beautiful video, and one day I hope to be like that couple about to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary ☺

  17. Thank you Julian, and everyone who were a part of this series to make it happen. Because of this video and others in the series, I chose to let someone know how i really felt about him. I was suuuuper scared; I was afraid he would never write to me again, or he'd say he only wanted to be friends but then our relationship would turn super awkward and crumble to dust. Or the world would explode, or something. But now i'm sooo exciiited! Because it turns out he loves me too!!! <3 <3 :D!!!!!!! And, now we have a chance go get a little closer than we were before, and he's interested in that. <3

  18. There were plenty of comments complaining about the legitimacy of the "experiment" and it's important to recognize these videos don't believe they have solidly and flawlessly proven anything. I think it's to get people thinking by using cutesy psuedo-science techniques to get a positive idea out into the world. I Love these videos! Very inspiring and motivating.

  19. so let me get this right, you have to let the other person to invest on you involuntary so that the relationship can go deeper?
    and a good exercise is to make other people do favors for you?

  20. @SoulPancake Why didn't you tell us the change in attraction of the other person? It kind of defeats the purpose of the experiment if both actually find that they are more attracted now…

  21. Ho-ly-shit ….. This is why me and my gf weren't working out … I put in all the effort, I always picked her up, payed the bills, I did everything…

  22. I love the video but the hetero focus on love, not grateful for that. If it were just the couples, OK, but the male female signs to "reinforce"? Disappointed?

  23. Sorry the ending wording was a little confusing. So correct me if im wrong: they tested again, and the ones who were receiving the favors become 5% less attracted that their counterparts who were giving the favors? Is this interpretation correct?. Or the ones giving the favors were 5% more attracted compared to themselves before? If the latter is correct, then what about those receiving the favors? Were they more attracted also or stayed the same or less?. This would change the whole meaning. Eg.g. If the ones receiving the favors were 10% more attracted, then it means you are still better off by doing favors than receiving them and the whole experiment would lose its point. Sounds like you are leaving important information out.

  24. I think it's contrived to ask someone to contribute more. They either feel compelled to on their own or unappreciated for what they are already contributing. I think this video lacks the concept of selfless love. Loving someone is a gift enough in itself imho

  25. This makes sense. Relationships are all about give and take. If one person doesn't do anything to build the relationship they won't see it as important and valuable.

  26. Are you using the test (30 questions) based on the previous research on attractiveness or work out by your own?

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