This is big news for guys. For years, I’ve gently mocked my half of the species for being far-too-easily influenced by female images. Babes in bikinis alter male behavior, but it doesn’t always take that much. Simply including a photo of an attractive woman in a loan offer was enough to boost the response rate as much as a 4% lower interest rate (see A Pretty Woman Beats a Good Loan Deal). Women, meanwhile, have been shown to be largely immune to manipulation by mere photos. In Brainfluence, my chapter on gender is heavily skewed toward influencing males – mostly because it’s far easier!
It would be easy to conclude that guys are ridiculously shallow (even subconsciously), but a new study shows that women aren’t actually immune to what psychologists call “sexual primes.” The lack of female response in past research seems to have been due to the investigators priming the wrong sense: sight. Touch, it turns out, is the more powerful sense for women. […]