Your next attempt to flirt will most likely bomb, if a new study is any indication:
People – both men and women – are just not very good at recognizing flirty behavior, new research shows. The study paired up 52 college women and 52 college men, sat them in a room, and told them to talk for ten minutes. Afterward, the participants were each asked (separately) whether they’d flirted a little with their conversational partner, and whether they thought their partner had flirted. Both men and women were very good at judging when someone was not flirting; more than 80 percent of the pairs could correctly sense a just-friends situation, the researchers found. But they were less accurate at recognizing when someone was flirting; men only answered correctly 36 percent of the time, and women judged accurately 18 percent of the time.
Rachel Raczka adds:
At the end of the study, the researchers concluded that flirting is decoded and deciphered by humans in the similar way we detect lying. Hall said that humans tend to have difficulty spotting a liar because the common assumption is that people are telling the truth. Flirting — as well-intended as it can occasionally be – falls into a likewise category, and most people require third-party confirmation to recognize.
Or perhaps students at the University of Kansas just skew awkward?