A new study, which appears in the Social Psychology and Personality Science peer-reviewed journal, seems to suggest that 23 to 33 percent of women have actually said yes to a date in order to get a free meal.
Study authors Trista Harig, Jennifer Howell, and Brian Collisson engaged with two different groups of respondents, seeking to find out whether or not those being surveyed had ever gone on a “foodie call,” and whether or not they had felt that the decision to do so was acceptable.
While it may seem obvious that women who had engaged in this somewhat sketchy practice were more tolerant of the idea, the majority of all women involved in both participant groups described the notion of leading a man on in order to score a free meal as moderately to extremely unacceptable.
There is one factor that most of the foodie callers did have in common, though — certain personality traits which psychologists have termed “dark triad” traits. Collisson, of Azusa Pacific University, said, “Several dark traits have been linked to deceptive and exploitative behavior in romantic relationships, such as one-night stands, faking an orgasm, or sending unsolicited sexual pictures.”
The dark triad of personality traits – narcissism, Machiavellianism (or extreme social politicking to one’s own ends), and psychopathy (but perhaps not the slasher-movie kind) – are common enough among the general population; this is simply a new and perhaps previously explored element of the same triad.
The study authors also urge readers to remember that, while this study focused on female dating behaviors, men can be equally selfish and superficial when it comes to dating practices. Collisson pointed out that the foodie call numbers may be a little on the light side, given human nature and the tendency for most people to remember their own past behaviors more fondly than what actually occurred.
“They could be more prevalent, for instance, if women lied or misremembered their foodie calls to maintain a positive view of their dating history,” Collisson said.