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Terri Conley before them, researchers Andreas Baranowski and Heiko Hecht at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz decided to conduct a series of experiments to test the Clark-Hatfield studies… First, they replicated the original study’s methodology.In their study, Clark and Hatfield had their volunteers visit the Florida State University campus and approach members of the opposite sex with the line “Hey, I’ve noticed you around campus.Baranowski and Hecht zeroed in on a commonly overlooked fact in these studies: women face greater personal and social risks when it comes to sex.

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To test this idea, Baranowski and Hecht concocted a new study.

In this version, the subjects – men and women both – were invited into the lab under the pretense that they would be taking part in a study to help a popular dating site adjust and calibrate its compatibility matrix.

Baranowski and Hecht repeated the study with a minor change – adjusting the location from a college campus to the more socially correct nightclub.

By all reasonable measurements, this should have affected the results – after all, nightclubs and bars are locations where the social contract encourages approaching strangers and looking to hook up for the night.

A woman’s response of “I have a boyfriend”, for example is taken as a challenge rather than as as soft no; PUAs are supposed to assume that this boyfriend is a fake and will mysteriously disappear when he’s demonstrated his higher value.