A new study by MIT researches, published in the January issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, is part of a growing body of research that examines evolutionary factors that contribute to everyday consumer decisions. This study was kicked off by the observation that ” in cities that had more unmarried men than women, there tended to be greater average personal debt and more credit cards per person.”
“The males who had read the article “Fewer Women for Every Man for Today’s Students’’ said they would borrow 84 percent more money each month. They also opted to save 42 percent less per month. Sex ratio did not affect women’s financial behavior in the experiment.
In another experiment, the researchers tested how much people expected men to spend on “mating-related products.’’ They found that in the male-dominated experimental condition, people of both sexes expected men to pay more to woo women. Men were expected to spend $6.01 more on a Valentine’s Day present, $1.51 more for a dinner entrée, and $368 more on an engagement ring.”
Which led them to conclude:
“Different numbers of men and women trigger a competitive motive, a desire to compete,’’ said Joshua Ackerman, an assistant professor of marketing at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a coauthor of the paper. “The core underlying theme, the evolutionary piece to this, is having different numbers of men and women signals different opportunities for romantic partners.” Although, he added, “It’s not that people are consciously thinking this stuff.’’
What do you think guys, are we really that programmed to spend more money to win love from the opposite sex? I wonder.
Image Tom Matlack (looking in mirror…okay at the zoo)