Holding a guitar case can increase your success with women… if you’re attractive (and live in France)
I came across a fun little study published on the Psychology of Music. The experimenters designed a simple experiment to test whether music plays in role in sexual selection. To be honest, I am not sure if that was what they actually tested but I’ll let you decide on that. It seems that what they tested was whether holding a guitar case increases women’s receptivity to a courtship solicitation – if you are attractive, male and live in France. The participants were 300 young females with an estimated age between 18 and 22 years, who were walking alone in several shopping streets of a medium-sized city in France. The experiment was conducted on a sunny Saturday afternoon at the beginning of the summer period. A 20-year-old man, previously evaluated as having a high level of physical attractiveness, acted as confederate.
The participants were selected following a random assignment in which the confederate was instructed to approach the first young woman in the age group (18–22 years) who appeared alone on the pedestrian walkway. He was instructed not to select a participant according to her physical attractiveness, the way she was dressed, her height, etc. He was instructed to wait until a young woman between approximately 18 and 22 years of age passed by him in the street, and then to approach her… The confederate was instructed to approach the young women with a smile and to say, “Hello. My name’s Antoine. I just want to say that I think you’re really pretty. I have to go to work this afternoon, and I was wondering if you would give me your phone number. I’ll phone you later and we can have a drink together someplace.” According to the experimental conditions, the confederate held in his hands a black acoustic guitar case (guitar case condition), a large black sports bag (sports bag control condition), or nothing (no bag control condition). After testing 10 women in one condition, the confederate was instructed to move to another area and to select a new experimental condition according to a random distribution.
The confederate talked to 300 women in one afternoon.. Impressive. The results? In the guitar case condition, 31% (!) of the women gave their phone number to the confederate , compared to 9% in the sports bag condition and 14% in the no bag control condition. It seems that holding a guitar case is an effective strategy if you’re attractive. Holding a sports bag seems to have the opposite effect. There are many problems with this study which the authors recognise. First of all, they only used one confederate and his physical attractiveness was high. He was voted as the most good looking guy among a list of others in a previous study. As a result, it is difficult to generalise the effects to other male confederates with various attractiveness levels. It’d be interesting to see if holding a guitar case would increase women’s receptivity to a courtship solicitation by an average looking male. Also, only one instrument was manipulated in this study. Could the effect be limited to the guitar?
Do you remember all those reports trying to find a connection between cellphones and unpleasant things, like cancer, ear aches, etc? Worry not!? Now thanks to researchers from the University of South Florida you can embrace your newly purchased Nexus One without worrying about possible side-effects.
After long-term exposure to electromagnetic waves such as those used in cell phones, mice genetically altered to develop <a href=”“>Alzheimer’s performed as well on memory and thinking skill tests as healthy mice, the researchers wrote in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
The results were a major surprise and open the possibility of developing a noninvasive, drug-free treatment for Alzheimer’s, said lead author Gary Arendash of the University of South Florida.
He said he had expected cell phone exposure to increase the effects of dementia.
“Quite to the contrary, those mice were protected if the cell phone exposure was stared in early adulthood. Or if the cellphone exposure was started after they were already memory- impaired, it reversed that impairment,” Arendash said in a telephone interview.
Arendash’s team exposed the mice to electromagnetic waves equivalent to those emitted by a cellphone pressed against a human head for two hours daily over seven to nine months.
At the end of that time, they found cellphone exposure erased a build-up of beta amyloid, a protein that serves as a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.
The Alzheimer’s mice showed improvement and had reversal of their brain pathology, he said.
“It (the electromagnetic wave) prevents the aggregation of that bad protein of the brain,” Arendash said. “The findings are intriguing to us because they open up a whole new field in neuroscience, we believe, which is the long-term effects of electromagnetic fields on memory.”
Arendash said his team was modifying the experiment to see if they could produce faster results and begin testing humans.
Despite decades of research, there are few effective treatments and no cure for Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia. Many treatments that have shown promise in mice have had little effect on humans.
More than 35 million people globally will suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia in 2010, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
There has been recent controversy about whether electromagnetic waves from cellphones cause brain cancer.
Co-author Chuanhai Cao said the mice study is more evidence that long-term cellphone use is not harmful to the brain.
Groups such as the World Health Organization, the American Cancer Society, and the National Institutes of Health, have all concluded that scientific evidence to date does not support any adverse health effects associated with the use of cellphones.
(Editing by Alan Elsner)
I wouldn’t recommend spending too many hours on the phone, though, as the long-term effects are not known yet. I’m really curious to see if other studies will replicate these results in humans. Imagine how fierce the competition between Google and Apple will be then!