Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Babies flick anti-risk ‘switch’ in women but not men

18.04.2012
Unlike women, men don’t curb certain risk-taking behaviours when a baby is present, a new psychology study at the University of Warwick suggests.

Whereas women are significantly more cautious when they are partnered with small children in a gambling game measuring their attitude to risk, men don’t substantially alter their willingness to take a chance.

Researchers suggested this could be due to evolutionary forces that select for men who are more competitive and risk-seeking in order to establish status and women who are more risk-averse in order to protect their offspring.

Scientists at the University of Warwick and the University of Basel observed students playing a gambling game while alone and while paired with either an image of an attractive man, woman or baby with whom they imagined they would share their winnings.

A second less surprising finding of the study was that men took more risks when partnered with other men – consistent with theories suggesting that men are driven to compete with other men in order to maximise their reproductive opportunities.

However men did not increase their risk-taking behaviour when paired with a woman, a fact researchers believed was down to the co-operative design of the game where participants shared their winnings with their partner.

This particular finding has parallels in the real world where studies have shown that men in committed relationships show less risky behaviour as they no longer need to compete with other males to gain a woman’s attention.

Dr Thomas Hills of the Department of Psychology at the University of Warwick said: “To our knowledge this is the first study to look directly at the effect of babies on male and female risk-taking.

“Our attitudes to risk form a big part of our personality and determine our behaviour in all sorts of areas – for example how we approach financial investments or what leisure activities we indulge in.

“Even though the women in the study were not the mothers of the babies they paired with, just having a baby involved in the game was enough to substantially change their behaviour.

“It’s as if babies turn off women’s a willingness to take a risk – but interestingly the same doesn’t apply to men.”

The study The baby effect and young male syndrome: social influences on co-operative risk-taking in women and men was published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior.

Eighty undergraduate students (40 male and 40 female) took part in the study.

The participants accumulated cash while pumping up a computer-simulated balloon which could explode randomly at any moment.

As the game progressed, participants had to decide whether to stop pumping and “bank” the winnings – or whether to continue and risk the balloon exploding and all the cash being lost.

Anna Blackaby | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.warwick.ac.uk

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Self-organising system enables motile cells to form complex search pattern
07.05.2019 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

nachricht Mouse studies show minimally invasive route can accurately administer drugs to brain
02.05.2019 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fraunhofer IDMT demonstrates its method for acoustic quality inspection at »Sensor+Test 2019« in Nürnberg

From June 25th to 27th 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT in Ilmenau (Germany) will be presenting a new solution for acoustic quality inspection allowing contact-free, non-destructive testing of manufactured parts and components. The method which has reached Technology Readiness Level 6 already, is currently being successfully tested in practical use together with a number of industrial partners.

Reducing machine downtime, manufacturing defects, and excessive scrap

Im Focus: Successfully Tested in Praxis: Bidirectional Sensor Technology Optimizes Laser Material Deposition

The quality of additively manufactured components depends not only on the manufacturing process, but also on the inline process control. The process control ensures a reliable coating process because it detects deviations from the target geometry immediately. At LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be demonstrating how well bi-directional sensor technology can already be used for Laser Material Deposition (LMD) in combination with commercial optics at booth A2.431.

Fraunhofer ILT has been developing optical sensor technology specifically for production measurement technology for around 10 years. In particular, its »bd-1«...

Im Focus: The hidden structure of the periodic system

The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified

The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...

Im Focus: MPSD team discovers light-induced ferroelectricity in strontium titanate

Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.

Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...

Im Focus: Determining the Earth’s gravity field more accurately than ever before

Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.

The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on UV LED Technologies & Applications – ICULTA 2020 | Call for Abstracts

24.06.2019 | Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

2nd International Conference on UV LED Technologies & Applications – ICULTA 2020 | Call for Abstracts

24.06.2019 | Event News

'Sneezing' plants contribute to disease proliferation

24.06.2019 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Researchers find new mutation in the leptin gene

24.06.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>