Come on, admit it… You have tried just about every pick-up line you can think of and some have worked, but most have probably left the target of your desires shaking her head sadly.
“Pickup” lines based on humour tend to fall flat - but they do get the speakers rated as relatively funny and sociable, and are not disfavoured by women seeking brief liaisons, a new study suggests.
Corwin Senko and Viviana Fyffe of the State University of New York–New Paltz conducted the research to assess why women respond differently to different types of “pickup” lines and to help answer that question so common from young women: why do men use dumb pickup lines?
“Flippant pick-up lines, so often used by men to impress women, often backfire,” the researchers noted, detailing their findings in the November-December issue of the Journal of Social Psychology. The study focused on remarks men make to try to initiate contact with women, rather than those used by women on men, as women are “more often the recipients of pick-up lines,” and “are often more discriminating” in mate choice, the researchers wrote.
‘Canned’ humour gets you canned
In a survey, they asked 70 female university students how favourably they would respond to various approach lines from men under different circumstances. Previous research had shown this type of survey to yield results that line up well with women’s real-life reactions to pickup attempts in bars, Senko and Fyffe said. This past research had already indicated that “flippant” pickup lines work poorly. However, it had not fully explained why, and had also suffered some methodological flaws fixed in the new research, Senko and Fyffe claimed.
The pair studied the effects of “flippant” lines such as “can I get a picture of you so I can show Santa what I want for Christmas?” Women rated men who used such opening gambits, as opposed to other types, as relatively high on humorousness and sociability, but low on trustworthiness and intelligence.
“Women rate the latter qualities more essential than the former ones in a long-term mate,” the researchers wrote. Humour might not ordinarily signal low intelligence, they added, but the type of canned humour usually found in pickup lines could.
Direct beats dof
Two types of non-“flippant” pickup lines were also used in the survey for comparison. One type was the “direct” line, such as:
“I saw you across the room and knew I had to meet you. What’s your name?”
The other was the “innocuous” sort that conceals romantic intent, thus making rejection more bearable. An example:
“You look really familiar. Have we taken a class together?”
The survey results saw the “flippant” lines scorned by women who were asked to imagine themselves seeking a long-term mate. However, for women asked to think of themselves seeking a short-term mate, the type of pickup line did not matter, the researchers found: instead, the man’s perceived attractiveness was the key factor in the woman’s receptivity.
So, would you make a 'good Dad'?
“Direct” pickup lines gave the best results on average, but the outcome differences between them and the “innocuous” lines were not statistically significant, Senko and Fyffe reported.
The findings overall support past research showing that women seeking long-term relationships look for qualities that make “good dads,” while those seeking short-term flings show greater preference for genes signalling good health, they noted. “Given the modest link between physical attractiveness and health,” they added, “attractiveness may be one such signal.”
So guys… have you got some sure-fire pick-up lines you use? Have you ever fallen flat on your face with a line that didn’t fly even for a second?
(Images: Wikimedia Commons)
Source: World Science, http://www.world-science.net
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