Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"The touch of a woman makes us feel more secure and more likely to through caution to the winds, ..."

Daily Mail: A woman's touch makes men take more risks with money, psychologists reveal:

Scientists at the University of Alberta found if a female experimenter patted a participant on the back, they were prepared to risk more money than if she just talked to them, or if a man did the patting.

The researchers think this is because we receive a lot of touch from our mothers when we are infants.

This creates a sense of attachment, which makes a baby feel secure. It also helps the youngster's sense of adventure and they are more willing to take the risks that come with exploring unfamiliar contexts and strange situations.


Is this a good thing? Maybe yes, maybe no, depending on the trustworthiness of the woman touching the man. If this experiment is true, that men are more likely to risk money when touched by a woman, then perhaps men should be more aware of this tendency and react by thinking through the risk, rather than by going on how they feel.

21 Comments:

Blogger Larry J said...

The researchers think this is because we receive a lot of touch from our mothers when we are infants.

I doubt this. A more likely explaination is due to "small head thinking" where the men hope to get laid.

2:36 PM, May 12, 2010  
Blogger Helen said...

Larry J,

Yes, I wonder if all men would respond this way. What about the men who had a mother who didn't touch them much or who the child might be afraid of. Do they feel just as secure? And if so, why?

2:39 PM, May 12, 2010  
Blogger TMink said...

Just what I was wondering Helen. What is the sampling bias and was maternal relational history or female relational history taken into consideration as a potentially confounding variable. Once controlled for, I wonder if the results would be even stronger statistically.

Trey

2:58 PM, May 12, 2010  
Blogger tomcal said...

I'd have to see a picture of the woman.

3:00 PM, May 12, 2010  
Blogger HMT said...

Sounds like confirmation bias to me. Even if we take it on faith that the experiment did indeed show increased risk taking due to the touch of a woman; there would be no reason to think that this had anything to do with an association to a mother figure.

3:36 PM, May 12, 2010  
Blogger HMT said...

Helen said...
Larry J,

Yes, I wonder if all men would respond this way.


The abstract of the article from the "Psychological Science" site says:" this effect was both mediated and moderated by feelings of security in both male and female participants." I have no doubt that the Daily Mail put a male/female spin on it to "sex it up".

3:44 PM, May 12, 2010  
Blogger Larry J said...

Yes, I wonder if all men would respond this way. What about the men who had a mother who didn't touch them much or who the child might be afraid of. Do they feel just as secure? And if so, why?

All men? Probably not. The word "all" covers a lot of territory. However, I think people tend to overanalyze men and our motivations. Dave Barry said it best (close to an exact quote as I can recall):

"Women would rest a lot easier if they realized that men are just as simple as we seem."

He also said, "Scientists now believe that the primary biological function of breasts is to make males stupid."

3:57 PM, May 12, 2010  
Blogger Larry J said...

It appears the correct Dave Barry quote is:

"Guys are simple... women are not simple and they always assume that men must be just as complicated as they are, only way more mysterious. The whole point is guys are not thinking much. They are just what they appear to be. Tragically."

So if Dave didn't say

"Women would rest a lot easier if they realized that men are just as simple as we seem."

you can attribute it to me.

4:08 PM, May 12, 2010  
Blogger Mike said...

Dr. Helen:
Psychology has its origins in mythology as Freud, Jung, and others have pointed out. This is not a criticism.
So in our culture the male is not as active as he is able to be until SHE activates him. Often he becomes a lot more active than she would like or is active in the wrong areas and this causes endless problems.
A woman creates you and gives you your earliest care in most cases and most of early teachers are women. At the most impressionable ages you hear the female voice of authority and are inclined to accept it.
Compare the economic output of the average man before and after getting married!
It is this power that women can exercise that is being abused now in that many men can be caused to produce and sacrifice themselves for their family only to be betrayed and discarded.
Almost 2000 years ago German women would expose their breasts and show their children to their warrior mates asking if they would allow enemies to take their women and children. This was done to fortify the courage of their men.
Some men may not listen but many more cannot help but to listen especially when you are younger and a decent person, the kind who makes a good husband.

11:11 PM, May 12, 2010  
Blogger David said...

"When a man's afraid
A beautiful maid
Is a cheering sight to see"

--Gilbert & Sullivan, The Mikado

11:17 PM, May 12, 2010  
Blogger Mike said...

Breasts are the perfect example really. Throughout history the highest priority was to FIND THOSE BREASTS and lock onto them. Then you had to do everything you could to get your mother to bond with you, to accept you and to preserve your life.
If you were refused your life was over.
It is no wonder that breasts retain this iconic attraction all our lives. All men start life as females with high levels of testosterone that reshape us in every way.
This is why we have nipples, those odd reminders of our origins.

11:25 PM, May 12, 2010  
Blogger Vrye Denker said...

Mike, I agree with your post regarding breasts, but I don't believe it is a natural state of affairs that men treat them with such admiration. there are many cultures where breasts are not revered at all and the mothers also breastfeed their children. I believe it is more a case of social conditioning than natural instinct.

6:18 AM, May 13, 2010  
Blogger Cham said...

I just want to know what it is going to take to get everyone to quit trying to hug me. Ack!!! Enough with the hugging.

7:50 AM, May 13, 2010  
Blogger Mike said...

Cham,
it may be that you are perceived as anxious. Squeezing or compressing a person calms them. Temple Grandin even made herself a squeeze machine. This squeezing effect works for many animals.

11:23 AM, May 13, 2010  
Blogger Mike said...

Vrye,
You are correct as most of what I post is culturally specific to North America/ Europe. Civilization takes some small difference and assigns a huge cultural value to it.
So you take an essential value like breasts and you conceal them and reveal them. You deny them and you grant them.
You hunger and you MAY be fed then maybe not. Later when the milk is not essential they are linked to ejaculation as ejaculation often occurs when breasts appear.
Then you see what others are not allowed to see. Through this kind of intermittent reinforcement an enormous cultural value can be assigned which is what we have done.
Your mother's breasts likely disappeared before you can remember.
You are right and it could have been done differently but we did it this way. Clothes really helped!

11:42 AM, May 13, 2010  
Blogger TMink said...

Perhaps Cham is just huggable!

Trey

12:23 PM, May 13, 2010  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

that`s why i tell my new step son not to take more than $20 to the strip club.

who do you think pays for those fake tits?

3:25 PM, May 13, 2010  
Blogger Roman said...

Larry J, you read my mind. While people in general are very complicated, in my younger days, I would almost always try to mentally evaluate my chances of "getting some" while meeting, or just seeing an attractive female.

In my "seasoned citizen" era, I am at an awkward age; I check out a lady's walk and she looks at me to see if I need help to cross the street.

9:25 PM, May 13, 2010  
Blogger Mark K. Sprengel said...

OT but I was struck by this:

"react by thinking through the risk, rather than by going on how they feel."

I wish I could run into more women who place thinking over feelings rather than the reverse :(

7:14 AM, May 14, 2010  
Blogger Cham said...

I think the hugging challenge doesn't have to do with me being huggable or anxious. I think it has to do with my age and stature. Since I am entering an age bracket where I could be a grandmother, people assume I'm up for all these hugs. I'm short too which isn't helping. Older women are presumed huggers. To further complicate the matter we have this new culture where everyone hugs everyone else. I hope I am no exuding a huggable air, if so I am going to have to examine the situation and see what I can do to make a positive change quickly. Otherwise I will simply have to continue with my step back, finger in the air and scream of "No Huggies!".

8:10 AM, May 14, 2010  
Blogger Wayne said...

Whatever you say, Kuzco, uh, I mean Cham. :)

Hmm... I didn't read the study, did they test homosexual men in that group? If so, how did they react?

That said, I tend to agree with Larry J, though for most men, I suspect it is subconscious enough that they would not be able to identify it as such.

3:34 PM, May 14, 2010  

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