Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Big swinging dicks

Some fun (if not entirely surprising) research in behavioural economics reported in the Guardian - men with high testosterone are more likely to make bad financial decisions when they're sexually distracted.

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" accepted unfair play far more than men who were not. The researchers later ranked the men according to their testosterone levels and found that the more testosterone a man had the worse he fared in the tests, they report in the journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

The implications for the macho, 'big swinging dick' world of the City and Wall Street demand to be explored. Maybe the investment houses should start slipping bromide into the trading floor watercoolers - or at least, crack down on corporate junkets to Spearmint Rhino.



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