Men who make big financial risks may not be gambling purely for the excitement or the possible monetary gain, but instead to combat feelings of inferiority around other men who appear more attractive than themselves - and to get women’s attentions as a result.
A new study carried out at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, suggests that heterosexual men, in an effort to appear more desirable to women, will take bigger financial risks after having seen images of men they consider to be more attractive than themselves.
The research, reported by the New Scientist, saw four behavioural experiments conducted on 820 men and women and found that heterosexual men made the riskiest monetary bets after seeing pictures of men they considered attractive, such as Abercrombie & Fitch models, more so than after seeing pictures female Victoria’s Secret models, or pictures of “average” looking men and women.
Men who called the models “more attractive” than themselves were more likely to refuse the 100 Australian dollars offered to them for nothing, and to instead gamble it for the chance of winning $1000 dollars, even though they were told they had a 90 per cent chance of losing and walking away empty handed.
"In evolutionary history, men have faced greater intrasexual competition in attracting women as a mating partner.
"Thus, when the average heterosexual man sees males who are more physically-attractive than he is, he is motivated to increase his desirability as a mating partner to women, prompting him to accrue money, and taking financial risks helps him to do so," the study's author, Eugene Chan, states.
Speaking to the New Scientist, Chan said: “This financial risk taking occurs because men want to appear more desirable to women, and having more money is one way to do so,” despite its potential of being a "stupid" decision that could lose money and see the men place themselves in a worse position, he added.