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People Almost Never Detect Flirtation

Update Date: Jul 03, 2014 06:50 PM EDT

Think you're sending signals to your crush? According to science, you're not.

Researchers found that the only foolproof method of letting others know your interest is to abandon tact and be direct.

Experiments found that only 36 percent of men and 18 percent of women were able to correctly judge flirtation.

The latest study involved 52 pairs of straight, single college students who believed they were participating in a study on first impressions.

Participants were paired with partners and asked to sit and talk to each other for 10 to 12 minutes.

Later, participants were asked to complete questionnaires in separate rooms, where they were also asked if they themselves flirted and if they noticed flirtation from their partner.

While people could correctly say when their partners were not flirting, they were really had at detecting flirtation.

Study data revealed that 80 percent of participants judged correctly when their partner was not flirting. However, only 36 percent of men and 18 percent of women were able to detect flirtation from their partners.

"Behavior that is flirtatious is hard to see, and there are several reason for that," lead researcher Jeffrey Hall, an associate professor of communication studies and author of the 2013 book "The Five Flirting Styles," said in a university release.

"People aren't going to do it in obvious ways because they don't want to be embarrassed, flirting looks a lot like being friendly, and we are not accustomed to having our flirting validated so we can get better at seeing it," he explained.

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