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Saturday, September 05, 2009

Men become fools while speaking to pretty women

Don't we all know it? Yet, there are people out to prove it by means of a study.

My friend Chandrasekhar brought my attention to this article by Pat Hagan in Telegraph, UK.

I have seen too often that a pretty but dumb blonde finds it easy almost always to make a very wise man dance to her tune. This is the general consensus. How about making a scientific study on the subject? That is what has been achieved in the research study as mentioned in this post.

Here it has been seen that men who spend even a few minutes in the company of an attractive woman perform less well in tests designed to measure brain function than those who chat to someone they do not find attractive. Shall we then say, "Chat with not so pretty ladies before attempting some brain teasing tasks"? The answer seems to be in the affirmative.

Researchers who carried out the study, published in the Journal of Experimental and Social Psychology, think the reason may be that men use up so much of their brain function or 'cognitive resources' trying to impress beautiful women, they have little left for other tasks.

The findings have implications for the performance of men who flirt with women in the workplace, or even exam results in mixed-sex schools.

Women, however, were not affected by chatting to a handsome man.

This may be simply because men are programmed by evolution to think more about mating opportunities. And a woman has it easier to find a man and make him interested in having sex with her. A coquettish glance, with occasional brushing of her breasts and other attractive parts against the man's body works wonders. It is quite another matter that a sane woman will not attempt this lightly, lest the man should become too much aroused and is not ready to withdraw if the woman has second thoughts. Hence her usual reticences. We should also remember that it is only the woman who becomes pregnant in the end and not the man!

The study goes on to say that one of the male subjects was so struck on impressing an attractive woman he had never met before, that he could not remember his address when she asked him where he lived.

It was as if he used up all his cognitive resources in trying hard to make an impression on the lady he was reacting with.

To see if other men were affected in the same way, they recruited 40 male heterosexual students.

Each one performed a standard memory test where they had to observe a stream of letters and say, as fast as possible, if each one was the same as the one before last.

The volunteers then spent seven minutes chatting to male or female members of the research team before repeating the test.

The results showed men were slower and less accurate after trying to impress the women. The more they fancied them, the worse their score.

But when the task was repeated with a group of female volunteers, they did not get the same results. Memory scores stayed the same, whether they had chatted to a man or a woman.

In a report on their findings the researchers said: 'We conclude men's cognitive functioning may temporarily decline after an interaction with an attractive woman.'

Psychologist Dr George Fieldman, a member of the British Psychological Society, said the findings reflect the fact that men are programmed to think about ways to pass on their genes.

'When a man meets a pretty woman, he is what we call 'reproductively focused'.

'But a woman also looks for signs of other attributes, such as wealth, youth and kindness. Just the look of the man would be unlikely to have the same effect.'

In other words, a woman has her head screwed correctly on her head and does not lose it easily, unlike the man who does.

Dondu N. Raghavan