Men Impressing Women

Some male college kids were mentally slowed (took longer to do something) by about 20% after talking to, or in anticipation of being observed by, a female (sight unseen), compared to the same interaction with a male instead. Female students performed the same whether the interaction was mixed-sex or same-sex.

This suggests that men are either distracted by anticipation or evaluation of encounters with women, or expend (hold in reserve) mental energy in - trying to make a good impression? Being attractive? Partial unconscious sexual fugue? The cognitive task has an error/time tradeoff. Were the men in the slowed state merely being more conservative in a way that wasn’t optimal for their combined score, or were they operating at lower capacity?

via Seth Roberts

(small sample of college kids paid with beer money, performance measurement was objective and automatic, so double-blind shouldn’t matter)