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April 2

Speed schtick

Filed under: News,Psychology — posted by Rose @ 10:04 am

Speed dating may seem like a waste of (tiny microcosms of) time, but some researchers at Indiana University recently found a way to put it to good use: By having subjects (male and female) watch tapes of numerous speed-dating interactions (male-female), they measured which gender seems to be more adept at picking up on flirting cues, both come-hither and get-outta-here.

Turns out, it’s a draw.

“… [M]en and women were shown to be equally good at gauging men’s interest,” says the study, “and equally bad at judging women’s interest.”

So apparently it’s hard to get when women are playing hard-to-get. Score one for feminine mystique!

“‘The hardest-to-read women were being misperceived at a much higher rate than the hardest-to-read men. Those women were being flirtatious, but it turned out they weren’t interested at all,’ said lead author Skyler Place, a doctoral student in IU’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences working with cognitive science Professor Peter Todd. ‘Nobody could really read what these deceptive females were doing, including other women.’ ” (“These deceptive females?” Sounds either coldly anthro-scientific, or the opposite, like he’s gonna go on to say, “YOU made me do this study, Linda, YOU did!”)

Here’s something else I’m having a hard time getting. Behold this little nugget:

“Researchers expected women to have a leg up in judging romantic interest, because theoretically they have more to lose from a bad relationship [ital mine], but no such edge was found.”

An icky amount of such cavalier sexism has been coursing through the “scientific” studies I’ve read of late. This one’s so broad I’m not even sure which presumptions are being referred to: That women don’t have time on their side? That they often wind up financially lesser-off post-divorce? That they’re all just, y’know, thisclose to tripping over the line into full-blown nutso?

If you’re as worked up as me, unwind by playing your own Meta Match Game.


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