Be careful: That babe you’re eyeing may not be as nice as she looks. New research in the journalPsychological Sciencefinds that attractive people tend to be more self-promoting, needy, and less concerned about others than their lesser-looking counterparts. The problem? You’re more likely to view a “10″ as a successful, social butterfly than a pompous conformist.
Blame something called the “halo effect”—your instinct to associate outer beauty with inner good—for why you’re fooled into thinking she’s perfect.
So before you make your approach (and start idealizing fallacies), here are five things that you actually can tell about her in 5 seconds or less.
1. If she looks out of place, she could be there on purpose.
She’s savvy enough to know the proper dress code for a dive bar. So if she’s dressed to the nines, she’s probably not there for the beer list, says Tracey Steinberg, dating and flirting expert. Women go places all the time specifically to meet men. There’s your green light.
2. If she’s drinking red, she could want more sex.
. . . Or maybe she just likes like the taste. Italian researchers found that women who drank two glasses of red wine per day craved sex more frequently than women who drank less often. They credit the polyphenols that may improve blood flow down below.
3. If she’s wide-eyed, she could be adventurous.
Check out her pupils to see if she’s feisty. Florida State University researchers watched a woman and a man alone in a room and found that when the woman looked at the man with wide eyes, lifted eyebrows, and sidelong glances, she had higher levels of sexual openness. (Want more bizarre ways to see if she’s horny?
4. If she’s sporty, she’s not too concerned about your looks.
Meet a cute woman at the weight rack? Don’t worry about being sweaty. Athletic women tend to be less choosy when it comes to a guy’s look, say Polish researchers. Why? Heavier women (who don’t have an athletic body type) have more body fat—and thus more estrogen—which makes them more likely to seek out a dude with great genes, like symmetry in the face and a strong jaw.
5. If she seems like an ice queen, she may have been around the block.
Psychologists say standoffish women aren’t as inclined to form romantic connections—therefore they have more hookups. But don’t worry if she’s a little icy: Villanova researchers found that ladies with cold personalities tend to have more sexual partners than those with more mild personalities.