Is it a man’s fault when he can’t tell a woman is interested in him?:


Even other women have a hard time telling when a woman is interested in a man:

The ability to judge another individual’s romantic interest level—both toward oneself and toward others—is an adaptively important skill when choosing a suitable mate to pursue. We tested this ability using videos of individuals on speed dates as stimuli. Male and female observers were equally good at predicting interest levels, but they were more accurate when predicting male interest: Predictions of female interest were just above chance. Observers predicted interest successfully using stimuli as short as 10 s, and they performed best when watching clips of the middle or end of the speed date. There was considerable variability between daters, with some being very easy to read and others apparently masking their true intentions. Variability between observers was also found. The results suggest that the ability to read nonverbal behavior quickly in mate choice is present not only for individuals in the interaction, but also for third-party observers.

Source: “The Ability to Judge the Romantic Interest of Others” from “Psychological Science”

And then there’s the other question – why do some guys ALWAYS think girls are interested even when they’re not?

Although many researchers have documented men’s tendency to misperceive women’s friendliness as a sign of sexual interest, few have examined individual differences in men’s attitudes and past experiences that might predict their likelihood of making these types of misjudgments. We applied an expanded version of Malamuth, Sockloskie, Koss, and Tanaka’s (1991) Confluence model to predict frequency of misperception of women’s sexual intent with a sample of 356 male college students. Using structural equation modeling, hostile masculinity, impersonal sex, and drinking in dating and sexual situations predicted men’s frequency of misperception. Furthermore, the more risk factors men possessed, the more times they misperceived women’s sexual intentions. Suggestions are made for theory development and future research incorporating situational as well as personality measures in longitudinal studies.

Source: “Why Do Some Men Misperceive Women’s Sexual Intentions More Frequently Than Others Do? An Application of the Confluence Model” from “Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin”

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