A Peacock’s Tail

A short while ago, a friend sent me an article that detailed the findings of a study which concluded that “men become ‘more generous’ in the presence of attractive women.” The study was conducted as follows:

Two experiments were undertaken. For the first, 65 men and 65 women, all of an average age of 21, anonymously played a cooperation game where they could donate money via a computer program to a group fund. Donations were selfless acts, as all other players would benefit from the fund, whilst the donor wouldn’t necessarily receive anything in return. Players did not know who they were playing with. They were observed by either someone of the same sex or opposite sex — two physically attractive volunteers, one man and one woman. Men were found to do significantly more good deeds when observed by the opposite sex . . .

For the second experiment, groups of males were formed. Males were asked to make a number of public donations. These increased when observed by an attractive female, where they were found to actively compete with one another. When observed by another male, however, donations didn’t increase.

So of course, once this was pointed out to me, I started seeing it everywhere – in restaurants, and supermarkets, and coffee shops. And then I thought, isn’t that a beautiful comment on the way men perceive us – that they know/think that what piques our interest more than looks or money or power are acts of kindness? And doesn’t that also say something beautiful about us, that although we claim to want (and may actually want) the superficial things, what really draws us to a person on a most subconscious/instinctive level is not the cosmetic elements, but the simple, unadulterated love of one person for another?

One comment on “A Peacock’s Tail

  1. Princess Lea says:

    Nice! And there is also the added benefit that while he is doing it then for her attention, maybe he will actually keep on doing it later.

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