If it wasn’t clear to you before, science is backing it up now:
Men are at an inherent disadvantage when negotiating with beautiful women.
A new study conducted by Chinese researchers from the Department of Management Science and Engineering at Zhejiang University has provided us scientific proof for men’s predilection for giving in when negotiating with a woman they deem as attractive.
In the study a group of 21 male subjects, aged 18-26, were required to participate in a computerized two-person ultimatum game wherein they would “barter” or negotiate with a woman until they both came to an exchange that was satisfactory for both players. There were 300 faces of women used in this game. Half of which have been categorized as attractive and half unattractive by a separate group of men. Each time before a game would stat, the men participating in the study would be shown a picture of the woman they were currently bartering with.
The study showed that men were more likely to accept unfavorable offers from attractive women.
However, most men accepted fair offers (50-50) regardless of attractiveness. But, in general the men were quicker to accept negotiations from beautiful women (in contrast to the unattractive condition), regardless if it was fair or disadvantageous to them. It must be noted that even if they did react faster to beautiful women, the reaction times became slower the more unfair the offer was.
Researchers hypothesized, and later concluded, that the reward centers in the participant’s (male) brains showed greater activity when dealing with attractive women. In contrast, parts of the male participants’ brains associated with dissatisfaction became more active when dealing with unattractive women.
Despite knowing well that they would never meet these women, the men in the experiment still continued to give the women the upper hand in the negotiations by agreeing to unfair offers.
These findings aren’t only limited to negotiations.
In a study conducted by the University College London (UCL) and the University of Bristol, scientists found that men donate COMPETITIVELY on women’s donation pages, especially if the woman is attractive. People on average have been found to donate £10 ($16) more after seeing large donations. But when men contribute large sums of money to attractive female fundraisers, donations from other men increase at an average of £28 ($44). To be clear, a “large donation” is defined as double the mean amount the population was giving.
The researcher’s came about these conclusions from tracking the progress of 668 fundraising pages. Each page was required to include a picture of the fundraiser (whose attractiveness was verified independently) as well as other info such as gender.
When opposite conditions were placed on women (attractive male fundraiser vs. female contributors), women did not seem to react too differently to attractive or unattractive male fundraisers.
For both experiments, the behaviors exhibited by the male participants were unlikely conscious, but at least our male readers now know that there is something in our primal and evolutionary instincts that clouds our judgment.
So before you negotiate with an attractive female executive it might be good to take a step back and reassess or let another female take over the negotiations.