Some 59 percent of poll participants are “convinced” of the romantic notion, and "not just in film and television, but also in everyday life,” the magazine said.
“In many cases the pronounced consensus is evidently based on personal experience,” Reader's Digest said in a statement.
The representative poll of 1,003 people in late May conducted by research institute Emnid showed 53 percent had fallen in love with someone the first time they met.
Younger participants were more cynical than their elders. Just 48 percent of those between 14 and 29-years-old said they believed in cupid's arrow. But 66 percent of those between 50 and 59-years-old were convinced of instance romance – most said they had already fallen for a stranger at first glance.
Residents of Berlin, known for the Berliner Schnauze, which translates as “Berlin snout” or big-city attitude, were surprisingly less cynical than the rest of the country.
Almost three-quarters of the capital city residents said they believed in love at first sight. In Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg and Bremen people are a bit more sceptical – about half said they thought instant love is possible.