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It’s Your Move: On to Something or Just Playing Games by Jenna Gray

Interpersonal Relationships


This paper conducts an analysis of the advice given in Nick Savoy’s “It’s Your Move: How to Play the Game and Win the Man You Want.” (2013). Three suggestions from the book were chosen and each compared against two pieces of sound psychological research, then analyzed for credibility. The three suggestions pulled from Savoy’s book are 1. Hunt in small groups, individuals look weak and large groups are too intimidating for a potential date to approach; 2. Women prefer men of higher social status because they equate the higher status to confidence, intelligence, ambition, and physical attractiveness; and 3. Smile, you’re more attractive when you do. All three bits of advice were soundly backed up by the psychological research found, and the paper concludes that Nick Savoy’s “It’s Your Move” is more credible than one would initially think.

It’s Your Move: On To Something or Just Playing Games?

            “It’s Your Move: How to Play the Game and Win the Man You Want” written by Nick Savoy in 2013 is a self-help book on the world of dating. Savoy, a master pick up artist, professional dating coach and president of Love Systems, the largest and most successful dating coaching organization worldwide, wrote this book with the intention of helping women find their way in the dating scene and hook the man she wants to take home. This book can also be used for men, however, as the sound research included in its pages reveals some of the smaller mysteries of women and why they like who they do. This paper will analyze the advice given in the book and determine if they are soundly backed up with psychological research. There are three pieces of advice that have been picked out for analysis: Hunt in small groups, women go for men with higher social status, and above all, smile.   

Hunting in Small Groups

            Savoy suggests that if a woman wishes to be approached by a man, conversing with friends in small groups of two or three is significantly better than hanging about in larger groups or alone. He states groups of three are best, because it allows for two friends to be engaged while the third engages with a potential mate, and gives the most flexibility. Several studies have been done on the effects of group size on many different factors, including approachability. In one journal article written by Reiczigel, Lang, Rózsa, and Tóthmérész (2008), they concluded that most vertebrates, humans included, are Social Animals, and depend on groups as large determinates of major aspects of their lives, including sexual conquest. This suggests that it is in our nature, as humans, to hunt in packs for potential mates, as evidenced by our instinctual habits to never go out for a night on the town alone. This confirms Savoy’s statement that small groups are key to hunting, be it sexual conquest or otherwise. In another study done by Furrer, Kyabulima, Willems, Cant, and  Manser (2011), they observed the grouping patterns of Mongooses while in a hunting situation. They emulated the “screeching call” that the mongoose emits when spotting another group of mongooses, and observed their grouping behaviors. These mammals were found to quickly form tight-knit groups to confront another group, much like females would at the sight of a pack of males at a club. Both studies confirm that it is instinct, and best practice, to hunt for potential mates in small groups.


Women Are Attracted To Men with Higher Social Status

            Savoy suggests that women are much more attracted to men of higher social standing because of the personality traits that lead to the increased status, such as confidence, ambition, intelligence, and physical attractiveness. Many studies have been done on social status in the dating realm, one of which is a study by Guéguen and Lamy (2012), examining the effects of monetary status on date requests. Young attractive male confederates, of obviously low, middle, or higher class status, asked women walking along the street for their phone number. Results found that the men of ostensibly higher status gained much higher rates of compliance with giving out personal phone numbers. This confirms Savoys suggestion that women prefer men of higher social standing. In a separate study done by Fieder, Huber, and Bookstein (2011), the relationship between social status and married couples was studied. Nearly 10 million records of individuals from censuses from 6 different countries were used to compile the results, which showed that across Brazil, Mexico, Panama, South Africa, USA, and Venezuela, more men of higher social standing were married than those with lower social standing, as well as more men of higher social status had children with their respective partners. This also confirms Savoy’s statement that women prefer men of higher social standing. Both cases support Savoy’s findings.



            Savoy also highly recommends smiling and laughing in order to look more appealing to a potential date, and this goes for both sexes. “You’re more appealing when you smile,” Savoy says in his chapter on talking to a member of the opposite sex (Savoy 2013, p.160).  He’s correct; vast amounts of research have been done on the topic of what makes a person look more attractive, and a huge tip for that is smiling. In a study done in China by Sing Lau, the effect of smiling on perception and interpersonal attraction was observed in a 2x2x2 experiment (“sex of perceiver” x “sex of stimulus person” x “facial expression”). 133 Chinese college students were shown a photo of a person either smiling or not smiling. The students rated the smiling person as more attractive, more intelligent, and reported getting a “warm feeling” towards the smiling person in the picture. This is not the only study that has done this; in a study done by McGinley, McGinley, and Nicholas (1978), it was shown that a woman who smiled most of the time (70% of the time) was perceived as more attractive than a female who rarely smiled (20% of the time), as well as being perceived has more attractive when sitting with an open body posture, rather than closed off. This solidly confirms Savoy’s statement that smiling is attractive.


            Based off the findings in the research presented, “It’s Your Move” (Savoy 2013) seems very consistent and up to date with psychological research and findings. All three suggestions presented were solidly backed up by research studies and articles. The first piece of advice, hunting in groups, was supported by simple facts of nature; animals (including humans) prefer to be in groups, and it is instinct and in best practice to do so. However, it can be very intimidating for a man to approach a large group of females, so if a person is looking for a prospective date, try to travel in smaller packs of two or three. The second suggestion, that women prefer men with higher social standing, is irrefutable across countries and cultures. A man with higher social status is so often lusted after because we think he will possess the traits that we believe led him to acquire such social standing: intelligence, attractiveness, confidence, and ambition. The third tip, smiling, is true across cultures. Every culture will recognize that a person is happy if they put on a genuine smile, and our happiness increases others’ liking for us. Smiling makes a person much more attractive, but it is important not to overdo it; otherwise it may come off as fake or insincere to a potential date. Instead, Savoy suggests a person use their smile as a reward for positive behavior, as opposed to flashing those pearly whites constantly.
            Savoy seems to have done his research. His claim to fame as a “master pick up artist” seems a little sketchy at first, but having done the research for myself, Nick Savoy really does seem like a credible source for advice on how to win a date with someone you like.  



Sources & Additional Reading*:


Fieder, M.,& Huber, S.,& Bookstein, F. L. (2011). Socioeconomic status, marital status and childlessness in men and women: An analysis of census data from six countries. Journal of Biosocial Science, 43, 619-635. doi: 10.1017/S002193201100023X

Furrer, R. D.,& Kyabulima, S.,& Willems, E. P.,& Cant, M. A.,& Manser, M. B. (2011). Location and group size influence decisions in simulated intergroup encounters in banded mongooses. Behavioral Ecology, 22, 439-500. doi: 10.1093/beheco/arr010

Guéguen, N.,& Lamy, L. (2012). Men’s social status and attractiveness: Women’s receptivity to men’s date. Swiss Journal of Psychology, 71, 157-160. doi: 10.1024/1421-0185/a000083

Lau, S. (1982). The effect of smiling on person perception. The Journal of Social Psychology, 117, 63-67.

McGinley, H.,& McGinley, P.,& Nicholas, K. (1978). Smiling, body position, and interpersonal attraction. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, 12, 21-24.

Reiczigel, J.,& Lang, Z.,& Rózsa, L.,& Tóthmérész, B. (2008). Measures of sociality: Two different views of group size. British Journal of Animal Behavior, 75, 715-721. doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2007.05.020

Savoy, N. (2013). It’s your move: How to play the game and win the man you want (1st Edition). New York, New York. Hatchette Book Group.


*None of the content in "Additional Reading" resources is related to, nor do we confirm the authenticity or views expressed therein.