Any couple can fall in love if they break law of attraction
Two people can develop an emotional bond if they pretend to find each other attractive, a study has shown.
The research involved experimental speed-dating sessions in which participants played psychological games designed to encourage attraction.
These included looking into each other's eyes, sharing secrets and giving small gifts.
In conventional speed dating sessions, around 20pc of the volunteers said they wished to see one another again. The psychological games increased this success rate to 45pc.
Study leader psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman, from the University of Hertfordshire, said: "This is a remarkable finding.
"Just as people feel happier when they force their face into a smile, so pairs of people behaving as if they find one another attractive became emotionally close.
"Similar research has been carried out with students in laboratories, but this is the first time that the experiments have been staged in the real world and with people who are actually looking for love."
He added: "This study is just the tip of the iceberg. In principle, similar techniques could be used to make two complete strangers fall in love.
"It would be a fascinating study and I would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in participating."