I have some fairly awesome news for you. According to science, nice guys make better dancers. Maybe not always, but pretty damn close.
Researchers asked 48 men between the ages of 18 and 42 to fill out personality questionnaires that would show where they fell on the spectrum of each trait. Then the men danced to the drumbeat of Robbie Williams' 1997 song "Let Me Entertain You." The music and lyrics were cut out, to prevent the men's love or hatred of the song from influencing their enthusiasm to dance.
"Dancing in front of cameras is not easy for many people, and some 'support' from a drumbeat usually helps them in the laboratory setting," Fink said.
Next, 53 women between the ages of 17 and 57 watched 15-second clips of the men's dance moves transposed onto a computer-generated avatar. Each woman judged each man's dancing ability on a scale of 1 to 7.
So I want you to picture this with me. 48 men between the ages of 18 and 42 were put in a presumably tiny room and asked to dance to a straight drumbeat while women watched and judged whether or not they think he can dance. Why this was not videotaped, I do not know.
The good news is, the more conscientious and socially agreeable a man's personality test revealed him to be, the more likely women were to view him as a good dancer.
The researchers also found patterns suggesting that extroverts might be better dancers, while people who scored high in neuroticism or openness were seen as worse on the dance floor. But those patterns were not statistically significant, meaning they could have been the result of chance.
As someone who has been around fellow comedy writers while they attempted to dance, I can confirm the neuroticism theory to a degree. But perhaps the most "shocking" thing about all of this is that the study revealed that "significant correlations of conscientiousness and social agreeableness suggest that dance movements signal particularly aspects of 'long-term' partner qualities" which means that these particular "nice guys" may actually be thoughtful and kind and good dancers — which is pretty much what most women would describe as ideal, and once again suggests that nice guys may not finish last after all.
Which is something that quite a few of us were already well aware of.
Conscientious Guys Wow Women on the Dance Floor [LiveScience]