Running Head: Pickup Line
Social Psychology [PSYC0103]
Submission Date: 22.1.2014
Pickup Line: The Art of Courtship
Session: Tuesday 1.00pm
1. Peh Ker Neng
2. Preston LiewRu Ping
3. Peng Yep Siang
5. Rubayet Hassan
In this psychological experiment, we received a lot of cooperation and support from many
parties. We would like to voice my gratitude here. First of all, we want to thank all the willing
participants that cooperate by having faith in our professionalism and provide us all the required
information. Their willingness to participate in the experiment with open heart is a big
contribution towards our research. Next, we like to thank all our fellow friends that helped me
throughout the research. They gave advice to help us improve our conduct of experiment. They
also take part in the experiment by helping us manage the set up scenario. Finally,we would like
to express our sincere gratitude to Ms.Pang Chia Yee for the support and help throughout this
project. She hasprovided us the knowledge which allows us to complete the project.Furthermore,
we would like to thank all the participants involved in this study for their time.
Table of Content
Table of Content
This experiment requires deception and covert observation. The elected researchers
initiate conversation with the targeted participants while the rest of the researchers record the
simple information of the encounter and record the process with a hidden camera. The purpose of
this experiment is to illustrate the difference between the male and the female’s attempt to pick
up an individual of the opposite sex. It is in our hypothesis that females will have more
successful attempts than males. The total number of participants is ten. The research methods
used are in qualitative and quantitative research. The experiment was conducted in Sunway
Pyramid during the 11th of January 2013 and Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus on the 15th of
January 2013 and . The number of attempts for male researcher is seven with only one success
while the number of attempt for female researcher is three with all three attempts successful.
Although the male researcher has more attempt but he only got 1 successful attempt, which
indicate the extreme difficulty for a male to pick up a girl. However, the opposite has a complete
different result. These results reflect that female is more caution and tense when approach by a
male. This is most probably the effect of a traditional mindset that female are more prone to the
danger and abuse.
Courtship between male and female is a very complicated process. The first few minute of
the initial meeting is said to be the deciding factor of the future development of that particular
relationship. Nowadays, pickup lines are used widely as ice breaker with unfamiliar people of
romantic interest. Pickup lines are phrases used as conversation opener with the intent of
engaging the unfamiliar person for romance. Pickup lines are used to advertise the wit and humor
of the speakers to their target listeners. Basically, they are used to leave a good first impression
and to attract the listener’s attention. In short, pickup lines are a form of persuasion. (Fiona
Movies often depict the effectiveness of pickup lines with handsome actors. This
experiment is set up to test the effectiveness of pickup lines. The selected pickup lines are used
on both male and female target participants. The effectiveness of pickup lines is shown through
the percentage of success which is calculated from the number of successful attempts and the
number of overall attempts.
This research is aimed to investigate the success percentage of a male and a female
researcher using the same pickup line. The researchers’ mission is to use the chosen pickup lines
to obtain the participants’ phone number. A success is determined by the obtainment of a phone
number. Both researchers are to conduct at the same place during the same time. Then success
percentage for both genders is then compared for analysis.
There are a total of 10 participants in this experiment, 7 female and 3 male. The participants are
strangers walking in Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall. The participants may be alone or in a
group. There local participants and foreign participants. The participants are mostly comprised of
individuals that are currently single and age ranging around 14 – 29 years old. The participants
are selected randomly by the researcher that will initiate the conversation.
The experiment involves covert observation. A DSLR camera is set up at fixed spot from a
distance. The camera is roughly covered up to blend into the environment. A cameraman is
stationed beside the camera to adjust the camera position whenever the researcher approaches a
A voice recording application is installed in the researcher’s smartphone. When the researcher
approaches the participant, the application is activated beforehand and smartphone is carried in
the researcher’s hand throughout the conversation.
Participant Information Letter
The Participant Information Letter is comprised a summarized information letter and two consent
letter. The letter is given to the participant after the experiment end. The letter introduces the
participant to the research and contains the researcher’s contact in case the participant needs to
contact the research team. One consent letter is to be kept by the participant and another is to be
kept by the researcher.
The record sheet records the simple observation that is observed during the set up conversation.
The data recorded are participant’s body orientation, length of conversation, participant’s
Three pickup lines were chosen for the suggested experiment:
1. You remind me of a magnet because you sure are attracting me over here
2. I thought happiness starts with an H, why does mine starts with U
3. I’m sorry, I don’t think we’ve met because I wouldn’t forget a pretty face like that.
A male and female researcher was elected to initiate a conversation with the targeted
participant using the chosen pickup lines to obtain the participant’s phone number.A camera was
set up in a corner and partially covered up to avoid attention from the passersby and to obscure
the camera from the participant’s point of view. The intention of setting up the camera was to
record the whole experiment for proof. The body orientation of the participant, length of the
conversation between the researcher and participant, and the participant’s company size will be
recorded as well by another fellow researcher. Besides that, a phone with audio recording app
will be present on the researcher’s body as he/she is approaching the targeted participant.
Upon starting the audio recording app, the researcher will hold the phone in his/her hand
and will initiate the participants using one of the three pickup lines. Once the conversation ends,
the researcher will signal the other fellow researchers to debrief the participant. The Participant
Information Letter is given to the participant and the researchers’ copy of the consent letter is
signed and separated.
Table 1: Observational data for female participant
Table 2:Observational data for male participant
Figure 1: Line graph of no. of participant against age for female
The participants are selected randomly, thus the graph illustrates a random line with the date
scatter unevenly throughout the range of age (refer to figure 1). This graph also records the range
of age for single femalein Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall as our target participants are single
individuals. Single female ages in the range of 14 – 19 years old.
Figure 2: Line graph of no. of participant against age for male
Mode: Median: 18
According to the data collected, the range of age for single male is 17 – 19(Refer to figure 2). In
other words, most of the male in Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall are not single. This reflects
that male seldom visit a shopping complex when he is single. This was an unexpected situation
causing our research to be lack of data on the male.
Participant Body Orientation
Figure 3:Pie chart of participant body orientation for female
Most female participants were facing sideways, not facing the male researcher as the experiment
was ongoing (refer to figure 3). This shows the female participants’ lack of attention and interest
in the researcher. The cause is unknown, most likely due to busy modern lifestyle and the
awareness of minimize unnecessary interaction with strangers.
Figure 4:Pie chart of participant body orientation for male
Most male participants were facing the femaleresearcher while the experiment was ongoing
(refer to figure 4).The male population in the Sunway pyramid Shopping Mall is not bound with
busy schedule. Compared to the female participants, male are more likely to pay more attention
to the opposite sex.
Figure 5: Line graph of frequency against min. of conversation length for female
Mean: 4.14286 minute
Mode: 3, 6 minute
Median: 4 minute
In an average, the male participant will have a 4 minute conversation with the female
experimenter(refer to figure 5).This also reflects the length of conversation a male is most likely
to have with the speaker when a pickup line is being used, which is roughly 4 minutes.
Figure 6: Line graph of frequency against min of conversation length for male
Mean: 3 minute
Mode: 3.3333 minute
Median: 3 minute
In an average, the female participant will have a 3 minute conversation with the male
experimenter. This also reflects the length of conversation a female is most likely to have with
the speaker when a pickup line is being used, which is roughly 3 minutes (refer to figure 6).
Compared to the female, the male are taking a shorter time to end a conversation because male
are more straightforward.
Participant Company Size
Figure 7:Pie chart of participant company size for female
Most targeted female participants are not in groups, but alone (refer to figure 7). This is due to
female in group are more intimidating and there are other distraction which make it hard for the
researcher to approach Alone individuals is easier to initiate a conversation and there is most
unlikely less unrelated thought in her mind so it is easier to attract her attention.
Figure 8: Pie chart of participant company size for male
Most targeted male participants are not in groups, but alone (refer to figure 8). The reasoning for
this situation is the same as the female participant’s situation. Groups are more intimidating and
distracting so it is harder to focus on one target.
Figure 9: Bar chart of no. of participant against response for female
The ratio of the response is six No to one Yes (refer to figure 9)..According to the data collected,
the calculated percentage of success in picking up girls is 14.2%. Although the number of
attempts is higher, the number of successful attempt and the success percentage is relatively
lower.This indicates that the female are less likely to give out their phone number and it is harder
for male pickups a female.
Figure 10: Bar chart of no. of participant against response for male
The ratio of response is threeYes to zeroNo(refer to figure 10). According to the data collected,
the calculated percentage of success in picking up boys is 100%. This is a surprising high result
but it is not accurate because they are insufficient date collected. Nevertheless, this indicates that
the male are more willing to give out their phone number and it is easier for a female to pick up
the opposite sex.
The hypothesis for the effectiveness of pickup lines was supported: female researcher is
more successful than male researcher in obtaining the male participant’s phone number. Overall,
the effectiveness of pickup lines in this sample shows that there were more successful attempts
on the female side of the researcher via verbal pickup. The confidence and comfort in
approaching with a participant for their phone number using verbal communication is
higher.Pickup lines are used to show the humorous side to the targeted participants. In the
current sample, female researcher has longer conversation length but sideway body orientation.
The rates of successful attempts were in the expected range.
The result is similar to the predicted result in the hypothesis. A person will feel insecure
when a stranger approaches him/her spontaneously. However, there are common stereotype that
female has a more fragile image then male. When approach by a female, the male participant is
more likely to loosen his psychological guard, thus a male is more generous to give the phone
number. They become careless and ignorance of the little details. So, the result is similar with the
hypothesis.In contrary, a male has the stereotype of being a violent figure. Male also occupied
more population of criminals worldwide. When a female participant is approach by a male, she
instantly feels a sense of false danger and strengthens her psychological guard even when there is
an obvious hint of a deception. Instead getting angry when being pickup, most female
participants describe the experience as scary. Fear is the immediate reaction regardless of age.
The relationship between male and female is complicated. A female participant is easier to
have a conversation with but not necessarily easier to get her phone number, even if she is
smiling. Females are more likely to give fake emotion that is not actually felt. Males are more
straightforward with their reaction.The main limitation for this experiment is both of the
researchers are not experienced and comfortable enough to pick up the participant. Besides, the
population of the venue is not enough during the experiment day. Moreover, the camera is hard
to be hidden and break the deception of the experiment.The experiment can be executed at a
higher population venue. So, the probability of pick-up success rate will increase.
In conclusion, female researcher are more successful in obtaining the male participant’s
phone number than male researcher in obtaining the female participant phone.
Scott Barry Kaufman(2012,august). Psychology Today(Online).Beautiful Minds.
Lewandowski, G. W., Jr., Ciarocco, N. J., Potentate, M. & Stephan, J. (2012). Pick me up:
Ego depletion and receptivity to relationship initiation.Journal of Social and Personal
Dr. Gary Lewandowski (2012). Science Of Relationship (online).When Are Pick Up Lines Most
ShajilaSiricilla(2013).Divine Caroline(online).Time Brings Maturity, Changing Attitudes.
McLeod, S. A. (2008). Prejudice and Discrimination. Retrieved from