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Revealed: The secret to successful flirting

September 08, 2008 14:16 IST

You may have tried several ways of flirting. But, if a new study is to be believed, the secret to a successful fling is simple -- if you fancy someone, just tell that person.

Previous studies emphasised the importance of natural beauty and physical features, including facial symmetry and voice pitch. Now, a team at Aberdeen University has revealed that the science of attraction lies in 'social cues'.

According to researchers, if one expresses one's feelings to someone through eye contact, smiling or simply by telling, "I really like you", then that person is more likely to return the sentiment.

"Our latest research highlights how social cues, which signal the extent to which others are attracted to you, also play a crucial role in attraction," lead researcher Ben Jones was quoted by The Daily Telegraph as saying.

In fact, in their study, the researchers came to the conclusion after carrying out an experiment on a group of 230 men and women -- all the subjects were shown four flash cards, each depicting a face with a different expression.

These included a person making eye contact and not smiling, someone not making eye contact but smiling, not making eye contact and not smiling, and making eye contact and also smiling.

"What we found was that the preference for the attractive face was much stronger when people were judging those faces that were looking at them and smiling," Jones explained.

The study, published in the latest edition of the Psychological Science journal, concluded that attractiveness was actually how someone in the group combined natural beauty and the 'social cues'.

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