It's true, men think with their testosterone
In the week after Alan Sugar chose the blonde for his apprentice rather than her chunkier but more effective rival comes further evidence that men do, indeed, think with their hormones rather than their heads.
In an experiment in Belgium reported in Nature magazine, just looking at pictures of sexy women or being allowed to touch a bra sent men's judgment haywire.
In the experiment, which involved haggling and bargaining, the men with higher testoterone levels often drove the hardest bargains — until, that is, the sex factor was introduced. Then, the higher the testosterone level the more their bargaining ability was affected. Men with low testosterone levels were relatively unaffected.
Bram van den Bergh and Siegfried Dewitte at the University of Leuven in Belgium set 44 student volunteers aged 18 to 28 a financial game to test how they reacted to fair play. The game required the students to split into pairs and before half of the games, one of each pair was shown images of a sexy woman or asked to rate how much they liked a variety of lingerie. The results showed that men exposed to what the researchers call 'sexual cues' were later less effective in their bargaining than men who were not.
The researchers then ranked the men according to their testosterone levels and found that the more testosterone a man had the worse he fared in the test.
'We all think we are rational beings, but our research suggests ... that people with high testosterone levels are very vulnerable to sexual cues. If there are no cues around, they behave normally, but if they see sexual images they become impulsive,' said Dewitte.
The evidence that we've all been waiting for then: don't handle bras before important business meetings. What do you think? My local garage used to be plastered with images of sexy woman but the guys working there still drove a pretty hard bargain!
According to The Guardian, the researchers are conducting tests to search for a similar effect in women, but have so far failed to find a visual stimulus that alters their decision-making behaviour. Hmmm.
Page created on May 22nd, 2006
Page updated on January 16th, 2010