When it comes to women – and gadgets – some men really do prefer the thrill of the chase, a study has found.
Researchers from the University of Chicago showed a group of male volunteers two photographs of a woman. One of the photographs showed the woman clearly while the other image was blurred.
Prior to seeing the images, the men were asked to categorise themselves as either a ‘smooth talker’ or a ‘shy gawker’.
The self-confessed ‘smooth talkers’ were more attracted to the blurry photograph as the woman appeared to be less attainable while the ‘shy gawkers’ preferred the image that showed the woman clearly.
A similar pattern followed when men were given a choice between products that were easy to reach and those that were hidden at the back of the shop shelf.
Researcher Dr Aparna Labroo, Associate Professor of Marketing, said, as cited in the Daily Mail: “To get the best outcomes or products, people usually have to expend effort.
”This relationship between effort and value is so closely associated in a consumer’s mind that wanting the best outcomes automatically results in increased preference for any outcome associated with effort, even pointless effort.”
Professor Labroo concluded: “So the next time you find yourself chasing that hottie, or you find yourself reaching to get a product way back on a shelf, pause for a moment and consider whether the outcome is really worth your effort.”
Relationship expert Dr. Pam Spurr says: “Almost everyone - men and women - put a certain added 'value' on to something that's not easily attainable. This is why can feel so good to save up for something like a special dress or handbag - and when you get it just feels priceless.
“It's the same with sex and the classic chase - many men find the chase exciting and it strikes their ego to feel they're the one who is finally going to get her attention - and into bed. Add to this the fact that men are very goal focused and an elusive goal can seem all that much more interesting.
“I'd never advocate game playing but if you're interested in a long-term thing it's only sensible to hold back a little bit. A little bit of mystery can go far and after all, if the tables are turned most women don't want a man to confesses undying love and interest after the first date or two.”
Like a red rag to a bull it would seem the colour red also fires up the passion in women. A study at the University of Rochester asked 288 female and 25 male undergraduates to look at photos of a man in which his shirt was digitally coloured either red or another colour. Women in a variety of countries agree that the red shirt made the man appear "more powerful, attractive and sexually desirable."
Women can subconsciously sense if a man is attracted to her by the smell of his sweat, according to a study at Rice University in Texas. A group of 19 women in their twenties were exposed to two types of male sweat - one labelled 'normal' and the other 'sexual'. The normal sweat was obtained from the men while they were watching educational videos while the 'sexual' sweat was gathered while they were watching an erotic video. The women's brains were monitored while they were exposed to the sweat. The brain activity showed that they recognised and responded to the sexual sweat.
Anthropologists in New Zealand carried out studies to find the precise waist to hip ratio that drives men wild. Volunteers were asked to rate the attractiveness of images of women that had their bust, hip and waist sizes digitally altered. The eye movements of the participants were tracked using infra-red cameras. Most men were drawn to the breasts but hips and waists were also important. The most attractive ratio was the waist measuring 70% of the hips. Not surprisingly, Marilyn Monroe, Kate Moss and Jessica Alba all share this ratio.
Men with high levels of testosterone are attracted to women with highly feminine faces, a study at Aberdeen University found. A group of 70 women and 30 men underwent a series of tests to examine the role of testosterone in attraction between the sexes. It was found that attitudes towards the opposite sex changed depending on their fluctuating testosterone levels throughout the day. Researcher Dr Ben Jones, said "When men's testosterone levels were high, they were more attracted to feminine women. When women's testosterone levels were high they were more attracted to masculine men."
According to a study by Florida State University men are unconsciously attracted to a woman's scent when she is ovulating. Four female volunteers - two who were ovulating and two who were not - were asked to wear a plain white T-shirt for three consecutive nights. Male volunteers were asked to smell the T-shirts. Those who smelled the T-shirts of the ovulating women had testosterone levels 37% higher than those who smelled the T-shirts of the women who were not ovulating.
It's a long-held belief that we are naturally attracted to people that resemble ourselves. In an experiment conducted by the University of Illinois, volunteers were shown pictures of of two faces morphed together. One group was shown images of faces of strangers morphed together while the other group was shown faces that were a composite of a stranger's face and up to 45% their own face. The subjects shown images containing their own face found the picture more sexually attractive.
Contrary to the theory that we choose partners similar to ourselves and backing up the old adage 'opposites attract', scientists have found an evolutionary reason why we may be attracted to those who are genetically most different to us. A Brazilian study found tthat people are more likely to choose someone with differences in the DNA region that governs the immune system as parents with dissimilar genetic regions could provide their offspring with a better chance to ward infections off because their immune system genes are more diverse.