Hard-to-Get Phenomenon

Eli J Finkel, Paul W. Eastwick

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


The hard-to-get phenomenon refers to the notion, held across diverse cultures and espoused by sources ranging from Socrates to Ovid to the Kama Sutra, that individuals experience greater attraction to a person who is or seems difficult to attract than to a person who is or seems easy to attract. Although theorizing on the hard-to-get phenomenon dates back to ancient times, the phenomenon did not receive empirical attention until the 1970s. This entry briefly reviews and evaluates the empirical research on the hard-to-get phenomenon in romantic contexts.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Human Relationships
EditorsHarry T. Reis, Susan Sprecher
Place of PublicationThousand Oaks, CA
PublisherSAGE Publications, Inc
Number of pages3
ISBN (Electronic)9781412958479
ISBN (Print)9781412958462
StatePublished - 2009


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