After touching men's underwear, women take bigger financial risks and seek more rewards

Posted on December 10, 2013

Across three studies, Anouk Festjens and her colleagues led over a hundred female undergrads to believe they were taking part in customer research for a clothing manufacturer. The women handled a pair of men's boxer shorts or a t-shirt and rated it on various factors such as the quality of the fabrics. After touching the clothing they answered financial or other questions, the precise format varying from study to study.

Handling boxer shorts, but not a t-shirt, increased the women's* preference for immediate financial reward - that is, they said they'd have to be offered more money in a week or a month's time to entice them to forsake the immediate offer of €15. Stated differently, women who touched a t-shirt perceived €15 in a month's time as being worth around €12.50, whereas women who touched the boxer shorts perceived €15 in a month's time as being worth around €10.50 - a statistically significant difference.

In another study, the women said whether they'd be willing to play various gambles that involved risking starting amounts of money or chocolate for the prospect of winning more money or chocolate. Women who'd first handled boxer shorts were willing to play riskier gambles than those who handled a t-shirt.

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Source material from British Psychological Society

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