She said for men clever chat-up lines do not generally work. Also a popular phenemenon known as negging or offering a "back-handed" compliment which was meant to make a man look confident and self assured and "unsettle" the woman, was more likely to cause her to "run for the hills".There was no evidence that sitting with one's legs wide open and crutch pointed towards a woman conveys an attractive message.

do the rules work dating-14

Do the rules work dating video

The Big Short, the film adaptation of Michael Lewis' book of the same name about the causes of the financial crisis, opens in UK cinemas this weekend.

How will the story stack up against the greatest films about business?

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The social psychologist from University College London, who is also an agony aunt for popular magazines, dismissed most of the advice given in dating guides and self-help books as unscientific "bunkum".

Speaking at the British Science Festival in Birmingham, she said: "They talk about 'science has shown' or 'biology says' or 'in evolutionary terms men are programmed to be the aggressors and women are not'.

"Also, the way they evaluate themselves is by sales.

You can't know whether they work at all based on that." Ten years ago Dr Boynton had a paper published in which she strongly criticised The Rules, the hit women's dating guide that has sold millions of copies around the world.

This week she invited 60 members of the public to a speed dating event at Aston University where they discussed the art of match-making.

Her advice to nervous daters was to keep things simple, be themselves, and get into practice talking to people when not searching for "the One".

The best ice-breaking chat-up line might be straightforward "hello, how are you? "If you're thinking about having to present yourself in a particular way and having to manage a line it comes over as contrived," she said.

"Certainly what doesn't particularly help is when you've got to do a lot of game-playing, posing or reading body language." She debunked a number of myths related to the so-called expert "rules" of dating.