London, Dec 15 (ANI): Men who have a less blessed appearance often overestimate their looks, which helps them approach more women, a new study has claimed.
Despite being at a disadvantage in the looks department, some men are able to snare a partner far more attractive than them through relentless persistence and overblown belief in their own sex appeal.
Now scientists believe this could be down to an evolutionary trait, which tricks men into overestimating the value of their looks to prevent them from missing a mating opportunity.
This overconfidence causes them to try their luck with a greater number of women because they are less likely to see them as unattainable.
Only the most attractive men are not inclined to have an inflated view of their desirability – most likely because they are so good looking they do not need to, according to an experiment by US-based Williams College psychologists.
“There are two ways you can make an error as a man,” the Telegraph quoted Dr Carin Perilloux, who led the study, as saying.
“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, such as embarrassment or a blow to your reputation.
“The other error: 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,” he explained.
Researchers put 96 male and 103 female undergraduate students through an exercise where participants spent three minutes talking to each of five members of the opposite sex.
The experiment found that men who mistakenly believed they were attractive were more likely to overestimate how interested women were in them.
“Essentially, men who rated themselves high on attractiveness were more likely to overperceive women’s interest. The more attractive they actually were to women, however, the more likely they were to underperceive,” the researchers noted.
The findings were published in the Psychological Science journal. (ANI)