If that's the case, how does this idea allude to anything other than the concept that two people who generally get along with each other, and were already predisposed to liking each other in the first place, would develop feelings for each other after spending a few hours conversing and learning about each other?
Highlighted in purple on page 367:
"Overall, these data suggest that matching in terms of
not disagreeing on important attitudes or leading subjects
to believe that they and their partners will like each
other probably has little impact on the overall closeness
subjects achieve through this procedure, or even on
their mutual attraction. "
I had the experience of eye gazing with a woman this fall, and the moment we saw each other, we both had the experience of "this is my husband/wife" -- we dated for a couple months, though she had a bf so that was sort of tricky and I decided I needed to take space to let her sort that out.
As for the questions, most people have a very low level of intimate conversation -- Level 1 (of 5), where they mostly discuss facts about things, the world, etc. This moves them up into higher level intimate conversations.
Also, a big part of attraction is feeling safe, on a deeper level, so actively moving to deeper levels and being vulnerable together will bond people.
Will this work if you hate the person or have no attraction at all? Maybe not, but it can be a huge catalyst for newly dating people or long term couples.
In my workshops I've had women say they had more sustained eye contact in 3 minutes than they've had in their entire 20 year marriage. Powerful stuff.
Thanks for the feedback!