They say that nice guys finish last but a new study has revealed that we could have been wrong all along.
According to the latest results (and your nan), being generous is more attractive to a potential partner than being rich. Or you could just be both and take over the world…but we digress.
The University College London study found that society held a high regard for a man’s willingness to help or be generous versus a man’s ability to help through flaunting his wealthy.
The psyche behind this result lies in the fact that a sense of fairness as a personality trait is seen as permanent, whereas wealth can be lost in tough times such as a recession. The latter is where a nice guy can purportedly get the upper hand in the dating scene.
How the University came about with these results was rather intuitive, if not a bit convoluted.
800 people along with their partners played an online game where wealth was created by giving someone either $2.50 or 50c. That money would then be given the option of being shared by either 50% or 20%.
Those partners who knew what they had chosen in prior games would choose the fair people over the tightass ones, even when they had more money to share.
To explain this concept further, Lead author Nichola Raihani says that, “From an evolutionary point of view, this is the sensible thing to do. You don’t want to partner up with someone who is always giving you the short end of the stick, you want someone willing to go 50/50 as a longer-term strategy.”
In her research paper Raihani stipulates that, “In hunter–gatherer societies, those who hunt successfully and are also willing to share the spoils with others form more profitable relationships than those who are successful but do not share.”
At the end of the experiment it was found that people prioritised a partner’s willingness to help even when their wealth was uncertain. This was proved in the game by telling the ‘choosers’ in the relationship that their rich partners could unexpectedly become poor in which they still opted for a fair partner.
Still, some may dispute these findings given that it was based on rich people given $2.50 and poor people given 50c as opposed to a much larger scale of money. Would potential partners still care little about wealth if it was on a scale of millions? Only more research would be able to tell.
The paper concluded that: “In this study, the fact that choosers preferred poor-fair partners over rich-stingy ones (particularly when wealth was unstable) indicates that they believed that fairness was a relatively stable trait.”
Sounds like a plan. Now make sure you know where not to invest your hard earned dollars.
[via Daily Mail]