Overconfidence Actually Gets You Dates, Says Annoying Study

Academic studies can be fascinating… and totally confusing. So we decided to strip away all of the scientific jargon and break them down for you.

The Background
There are many benefits to being confident — confident people are considered more believable, they have more social influence and they’re more likely to be chosen for leadership positions than less confident peers. So it doesn’t seem like a huge leap to assume that confidence can probably result in romantic advantages, too. But when it comes to confidence in the dating world, is more always better? And if yes, how? A series of studies compiled into one paper published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin this month delved into whether or not overconfidence benefits daters. Spoiler alert: If you feel like you’re only attracting smug, full-of-themselves types, these findings might provide some insight.

The Setup
The comprehensive study included five separate experiments: For the first four, researchers brought in various groups of gay, straight and bi-identified men and women, divided about evenly between genders, to create online dating profiles. To suss out who among them might be a little too sure of him or herself, the researchers had participants fill out a questionnaire that asked them to rate how familiar they were with certain topics — some of which weren’t actually real. Those who claimed expertise on fake topics like “ultra-lipids” and “sentence stigma” revealed themselves to be a little too confident.

But when we look at someone’s dating profile who appears rather confident, we don’t typically know if high self-regard really translates into high quality. Though the first study showed that overconfident people were considered more desirable by people who viewed their profiles and perceived their confidence, a second experiement showed that overconfident —> Read More