In the art of seduction, flirting involves different signals that people send each other to attract a desired partner. But among the different flirting techniques, which one is the most effective of all?
A new study by psychologists from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Bucknell University, and the State University of New York at Oswego claims to have found the most effective flirting techniques for both men and women.
The research, published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, focused on 1,000 straight college students in the United States and Norway, who were sent questionnaires asking them to rate the effectiveness of 40 different types of flirting when seeking a short-term or long-term relationship, and depending on whether the flirt was male or female.
The research team also took into account the participants’ extroversion, age, religiosity, the person’s willingness to be in a relationship, and their attractiveness in the dating market.
“Individual differences in age, religiosity, extroversion, personal attractiveness, and preferences for short-term sexual relationships had little or no effect on how effective respondents considered different flirting tactics to be,” according to the researchers. So what is it that works?
According to scientists, when it comes to flirting, humor tends to be the most successful on average. However, everything would depend on the type of goal you have in mind. In other words, flirting differs based on the desired results. Those who are ambitious for a one-night stand have different signals than those who are looking for something more long-term.
“What is most effective depends on the sex and whether the goal of flirting is a long-term or short-term relationship,” Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair, a professor in the NTNU Department of Psychology, says in a press release.
“People believe that humor, or being able to make another person laugh, is more effective for men looking for a long-term relationship,” says Kennair. “But laughing at the other person’s jokes is an effective flirting tactic for both genders,” she adds.
This held true for the American and Norwegian participants in the study.
“It’s not just being funny that’s effective,” added study co-author Rebecca Burch. “But for women, it’s really important that you show your potential partner that you find it fun.”
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