Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Will you cheat?

Or will your partner cheat?  A neuroeconomist presents a scientific test:
My recent appearance on the Dr. Phil show prodded me to develop some simple tests for infidelity that expose the impact of this soup of chemicals. While there is no perfect test for whether a man will cheat, I will give you a list of things to look at. Most are subtle and below our conscious awareness. If enough of these factors line up, it might be time to worry.
Let's see how we do here.

1.  Resting heart rate.  +1
2.  Testosterone.  +2
3.  Movie/kids/dogs +1
4.  Public flirt +1
5.  Family +1

It would appear I'm just below the chemical cheating threshold and am therefore a reliable marital bet.  Science said so.

15 comments:

realmatt said...

Don't let Spacebunny know.

realmatt said...

1. Heart rate +1
2. Testosterone +3
3. Kids dogs etc. +3
4. Public flirt +1
5. Family +3

alphamission said...

Don't want your husband to cheat? Have sex with him! Shock and awe.

Holly Petraeus said...

Want your husband to cheat? Refuse to dye your hair, go with the easily maintained "I give up" hairstyle, dress in frumpy clothes, and let yourself bloat up like a manatee.

Steve Canyon said...

Wow, a Doc that appeared on Dr Phil doing a study that implies cheating is the provenance of males. I would have never saw that coming....

realmatt said...

I don't know any men that care about hair dying.

Tom O. said...

An observation:

When I think about who I believe is the smartest person, he is not a philosopher like Wittgenstein, or a mathematician like Gauss, or a scientist like Einstein, or a writer like Russell.

Usually, it's people like Tucker Max, or yourself to a lesser extent. It seems that most geniuses, real or alleged, have, underneath their words and arguments, a child-like psychology behind their reasoning and motives. It's usually something stupid too. Take a look at most of the famous atheist writers and you can see that they had a rather pathetic childhood an inability to form basic relationships. Classical gamma psychology, and the result almost looks likes a inbred style of thinking, for a lack of a better word.

But players don't have these problems. And usually most players, when pressed and examined, don't have a stupid psychology or awkwardness that lies at the root. They're the best suited to stare reality in the face, and usually the most likely to get the right observations. And generally, they also tend to be very book-smart as well.

Of course, savant-like expertise and alpha behavior aren't mutually exclusive, as the lives of Mozart, Von Neumann, and Feynman clearly testify. But these men tend to be exceptions, and I'm inclined to believe that most of the people that are closer to Tucker Max or yourself could easily replace those that are closer to P.Z. Meyers or Bertrand Russell.

Anonymous said...

Im sad to hear this is actually considered neuroeconomics. When i did it it was more about trust and risk adversity in game theory

finndistan said...

Keep his balls empty, his stomach full, his soul content, his view good, his ears unharmed.

-100000000E100000

R. Bradley Andrews said...

It was really tough to dig the values out of that article. Poor layout.

alphamission, I am sure that helps, but I doubt that is sufficient.

Rock Throwing Peasant said...

About what I'd expect from a scientician.

By the measure, I have or are the line for chemical cheating, but I take my oaths seriously. Very seriously. I've been in dicey situations, but always knew that line existed. Where's the mitigation for things like compulsive honesty, religious conviction, and keeping promises?

All this does is allow women to pre-convict men of cheating and wait for any little sign to spring from the bushes, cluthing printouts of this webpage in their hands.

As to why this focuses on men, I think it was just looking at the effect of testosterone. Why he didn't develop a similar one for women's chemical inclination to cheat is another matter.

Hermit said...

"See a dramatic movie.
In a previous post I confessed that once I had kids I became an embarrassingly unmitigated movie-crier."
+5 for her cheating on you...

a good ROI said...

"Where's the mitigation for things like compulsive honesty, religious conviction, and keeping promises?

All this does is allow women to pre-convict men of cheating and wait for any little sign to spring from the bushes..."

Very well put. From this "scientific test" I am a prime candidate for cheating.

While the opportunities have been there, I learned a lesson from watching my own father cheat on my mother.

alphamission said...

@Bradley Andrews. If you look at the first part of the linked article they talk about the particular chemicals in question. Too much testosterone, not enough oxytocin and vasopressin is the apparent cocktail for male cheating. Sex will lower a mans testosterone (via releasing it into the world), and oxytocin and vasopressin are produced during climax. The chemical part of the male cheating equation, which this article addresses, is therefore solved with frequent sex.

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