Ursidae: The Undergraduate Research Journal at the University of Northern Colorado

Faculty Sponsor

Rena Kirkland


There have been a small number of studies that have examined different aspects of courtship such as courtship strategies, forms of communication, and various factors that affect the level of attraction between two individuals. However, very few researchers have examined the common techniques or methods that individuals use when initiating courtship. The current study investigated the common techniques that college students prefer when initiating courtship, whether there were any differences between men and women, and whether there was a difference in on-campus and off-campus scenarios regarding the most commonly preferred method. Forty-three undergraduate students, 36 females and 7 males, at a Rocky Mountain University participated in the survey. The survey included the Extraversion and Openness Scales from the Big Five Inventory as well as 6 scenarios in which each participant was asked to choose one of 7 different choices of behavior on how they would most likely respond in the scenarios depicted. Three out of the six scenarios showed statistically significant differences between males and females. There was no difference between on-campus and off-campus scenarios. Romantic relationships are an important part of our society and these results identify how college students prefer to initiate courtship as well as how they prefer to be approached. This knowledge helps shine a light on an area of romantic relationships that is not very well understood and may be able to provide more information on what goes into the formation of romantic relationships. These results have implications in regards to possibly helping to ease some of the tension and anxiety that college age individuals might experience when trying to initiate courtship with an individual they find attractive.