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It’s true! Science says so.
“Pickup” lines based on humor tend to fall flat-but they do get the speakers rated as relatively funny and sociable, and aren’t disfavored 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?
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. Humor might not ordinarily signal low intelligence, they added, but the type of canned humor usually found in pickup lines could.
So if you want a same night lay with a horny, ovulating stripper, hit her up with the corniest pickup line you can muster. She’ll swoon. If you want to maximize your success with women at all phases of their cycles, your best bet is a pickup line that is honed to demonstrate humor *and* smarts. That isn’t easy to do, which is why most men fall back on goofiness, which seems to be a default male state. Paradoxically, acting goofy may help men maintain some semblance of dignity and composure when talking to an attractive girl.
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. But for women asked to think of themselves seeking a short-term mate, the type of pickup line didn’t matter, the researchers found: instead, the man’s perceived attractiveness was the key factor in the woman’s receptivity.
“Direct” pickup lines gave the best results on average, but the outcome differences between them and the “innocuous” lines weren’t statistically significant, Senko and Fyffe reported.
Direct game has its advocates, but this study suggests that the Lance Mason-esque “movie moment” type of direct opening is not much better at picking up women than standard, indirect openers.
By the way, a lot of these sociological studies suffer from the experimental flaw known as “don’t expect a straight answer from women” bias. This study asked women to imagine themselves seeking either a long-or short-term mate before making their decisions. Since when has asking women about their feelings ever gotten anyone honest feedback? These studies would be more convincing if instead of asking women about their sexual attraction mechanisms, they went IN THE FIELD to actually observe women reacting to different types of pickup lines.
A lot of scientists could learn a thing or two about the experimental method from PUAs.