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Think You’re Hot? A New Study Shows You’re Probably Very Wrong

Flickr / davecobb

Anyone who’s ever been in a bar has probably seen it: the cheesiest guy in the place approaches the hottest girl and simply can’t believe it when he’s shot down. He may be clueless, but a new study says his audacity might not be a character flaw. In fact, it may just be simple human evolution at work.

Researchers had about 100 people rate their own attractiveness, and then participate in a “speed meeting” session. Afterwards, those guinea pigs were asked to rate how interested they were in each other and how interested they thought others were in them.

The results? Guys who rated themselves as sexy were most likely to overestimate how much women grooved on them. In addition, if they thought a woman was attractive, they thought she was into them too. On the other hand, guys that women thought were sexy were a lot better at judging their interest.

And of course the ladies by and large underestimated how interested men were in them, because for some reason women are taught it’s not nice to come right out and say, “Dudes think I’m hot.”

The study’s authors theorize that a man’s tendency to overestimate his own attractiveness is based in evolution. As study author Carin Perilloux put it:

There are two ways you can make an error as a man. Either you think, ‘Oh, wow, that woman’s really interested in me’ — and it turns out she’s not. There’s some cost to that. [The other error is] she’s interested, and he totally misses out. He misses out on a mating opportunity. That’s a huge cost in terms of reproductive success.

She added that “the kind of guy who went for it, even at the risk of being rebuffed, scored more often — and passed on his overperceiving tendency to his genetic heirs,” while guys who actually are attractive had no need for “overperceiving.”

So there you have it, guys. If you think you’re hot, you probably aren’t. But it’s okay. Girls don’t think you’re interested in them anyway.


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