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Hard to detect a woman interested in a man

BLOOMINGTON, Ind., Jan. 30 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers expected women to have a leg up in judging romantic interest, but no such edge was found.

When it comes to assessing the romantic playing field -- who might be interested in whom -- men and women were shown to be equally good at gauging men's interest during an Indiana University study involving speed dating, and equally bad at judging women's interest.

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"The hardest-to-read women were being misperceived at a much higher rate than the hardest-to-read men," lead author Skyler Place, a doctoral student at Indiana University said in a statement. "The women were being flirtatious, but it turned out they weren't interested at all -- nobody could really read what these deceptive females were doing, including other women."

The study involved 28 women and 26 men of college age, who watched video clips of couples interacting on speed dates -- meeting a large number of people in one evening of successive brief one-on-one conversations.

The speed dating sessions were all conducted in Germany while the observer ratings were all made by students in Indiana.

Despite the language difference, observers were still able to judge men's romantic interest accurately.

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The study, published in Psychological Science, found that in five of the videos, 80 percent of the observers thought the women shown were interested when in fact they were not -- they were acting friendly even though they had no interest in the men.

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