The research 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 The research 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.Researchers 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.
The results showed men were slower and less accurate after trying to impress the women. But when the task was repeated with a group of female volunteers, they did not get the same results.
Memory scores stayed the same, whether they had chatted to a man or a woman.
Psychologists 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.
Researchers 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 students.
In a report on their findings the researchers said: 'We conclude men's cognitive functioning may temporarily decline after an interaction with an attractive woman.' Psychologist Dr George Fieldman, a member of the British Psychological Society, said the findings reflect the fact that men are programmed to think about ways to pass on their genes.
'When a man meets a pretty woman, he is what we call 'reproductively focused'.
Each one performed a standard memory test where they had to observe a stream of letters and say, as fast as possible, if each one was the same as the one before last.
The volunteers then spent seven minutes chatting to male or female members of the research team before repeating the test.
This crime has been proscribed in various ways since the International Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Women and Children, which was agreed in 1921 as a multilateral treaty of the League of Nations that addressed the problem of international trafficking of women and children for nefarious purposes.
'But a woman also looks for signs of other attributes, such as wealth, youth and kindness.
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