Sunday, March 23, 2008

Nice guys win while clueless guys remain clueless

Two interesting, but not exactly earthshaking, studies on human psychology out there, one about “guys” as humans in general, and how being nice does “win” in the game of life, while the other quantifies what most women have long said, that guys are clueless about “reading” them.

First, the “nice guys” story. Researchers found that, after a while, the negative reinforcement of punishment loses its psychological reinforcement. The research involved multiple rounds of the prisoners’ dilemma game, with a higher-than-normal punishment level.

The reason I say this one isn’t totally earthshaking is the some part of the principle behind this has long been exemplified in the “good cop, bad cop” scheme. However, this goes beyond “good cop, bad cop” in cooperation vs. punishment between equals.

Perhaps semi-equals who run free-world situations, like tyrannical bosses, will sit up and take notice.

The second study?

Researchers found that men misread women’s friendliness as sexual signals.

Well, that’s the “no duh” insight of the year, right?

But, it also found that men misread women’s sexual signals as not being about sex but just friendship.

In other words, men misreading women isn’t related to male libido and sex focus, just to men not being so observant.

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