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Do clever pick-up lines really work?

Women prefer innocuous opening lines vs direct or clever lines.

Men prefer women to be direct.

Via Scott Barry Kaufman:

In the ’80s, Chris Kleinke and colleagues analyzed the effectiveness of 100  pick-up lines across a number of different settings, including bars, supermarkets, restaurants, laundromats, and beaches. They found three main categories of openers: direct gambits, which are honest and get right to the point (e.g, “I’m sort of shy, but I’d like to get to know you“), innocuous gambits, which hide a person’s true intentions (“e.g., “What do you think of this band?“), and cute/flippant gambits, which involve humor, but often in a cheesy, canned way (e.g., ”Do you have any raisins? No? Well then, how about a date?“.)* 

Both men and women agreed that cute/flippant pick-up lines were the least attractive. Women, however, preferred innocuous lines and had a greater aversion to cute/flippant lines than men, while men had a greater preference for direct opening gambits than women. This basic pattern has been found over and over again in a variety of settings, including singles bars .

Mentally tired people are even less receptive to clever pick-up lines.

Innocuous pick-up lines work better in these instances. Direct pickup lines weren’t affected by mental exhaustion.

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