shows men who spend even a few minutes in the company of an attractive
woman perform less well in tests designed to measure brain function
than those who chat to someone they do not find attractive.
who carried out the study, published in the Journal of Experimental
and Social Psychology, think the reason may be that men use
up so much of their brain function or ‘cognitive resources’ trying
to impress beautiful women, they have little left for other tasks.
have implications for the performance of men who flirt with women
in the workplace, or even exam results in mixed-sex schools.
were not affected by chatting to a handsome man.
This may be
simply because men are programmed by evolution to think more about
at Radboud University in The Netherlands carried out the study after
one of them was so struck on impressing an attractive woman he had
never met before, that he could not remember his address when she
asked him where he lived.
said it was as if he was so keen to make an impression he ‘temporarily
absorbed most of his cognitive resources.’
To see if other
men were affected in the same way, they recruited 40 male heterosexual