36 questions to fall in love

West Side Story asked students to respond to 36 questions while staring deep into each other’s eyes in hopes that they would fall in love.

“Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?”

“A nice person,” said Austen Mattingly ’19, looking straight at Will Conrad ’19.

“Michael Jordan,” Conrad said in response. This was the first of 35 questions the pair would be asked, at the end of which they should have fallen in love.

Four pairs of students were asked 36 questions were broken up into sets of three; the first set was rather trivial, and each subsequent set was more probing than the last. The idea behind the experiment, first conducted by psychologist Arthur Aron, was that mutual vulnerability would foster a deeper connection and empathy.

But did it work on the students of West?