Observers who simply watched the interaction were even less accurate at identifying flirting than those who were actually involved.
Once again, males were more accurate at recognizing when women flirted, but men generally tend to overestimate women’s interest, giving them more of a chance to be correct when women actually were flirting.
This ambiguity allows people to put themselves out there with less fear of embarrassment, rejection or damaged self-esteem.
It isn’t surprising that a person’s self-esteem may affect how she or he approaches flirting.
Across both studies, the ability to detect flirting was probably lower than any flirty person would like.
But as lead researcher Jeffrey Hall explains: Behavior that is flirtatious is hard to see, and there are several reasons for that.
Regardless of the technique employed, flirting aims to fulfill one purpose: stimulate sexual interest.
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