According to the study, published in The Economic Journal, attractiveness strongly influences relations between women and relations between women and men. But in relations between men has no effect. As the researchers write, they obtained the first evidence that the lack of mutual sympathy hinders cooperation, especially in groups that consist of women and of the women and men. Scientists believe that mutual sympathy between women plays a major role not only in collaborative interactions, but in decisions.
A number of interesting experiments
The study’s lead author, doctor of economic Sciences, Leonie Gerhards, Department of Economics, University of Hamburg, Germany, and his colleague Michael Coesfeld, had a number of interesting experiments, in which subjects evaluated each other’s photos. The participants were divided into pairs, but before that they saw a photo of his partner and knew how he appreciated them. The pair then played games in which a monetary reward depended on the degree of cooperation. If during the game, both partners played well, the result was beneficial to both parties. And if participants contributed different amounts, more generous player was in a worse position.
In the first game both players were allocated six euros for joint investment. The donated amount was increased by 150% and divided equally between the two players. The idea was that the more money you have, the better for each player. But one who did not engage in cooperation with another player, could keep the entire amount or most of the money, thus taking away a significant amount from another player.
The second game was similar. In order to maximize the amount paid to each subject, the participants need to cooperate and donate the maximum amount of money. However, if one player has sacrificed more than his partner, both were losing money. Therefore, the goal was to achieve an equilibrium in which both parties sacrifice approximately equal amounts, in euros.
On average, men contributed slightly (but only slightly) more than women — in the first game they donated to 4.05 euros, while women of 3.92 euros. However, the researchers noticed a significant difference, based on mutual sympathy, when the game was attended by a woman. Same-sex teams of female players with high levels of mutual sympathy were, on average, contributed up to 30% more than teams with low levels of mutual sympathy. But men rarely changed the amount of its contribution. The results in teams of mixed sex was even more impressive: men contributed to 50% and women 37% less money, if the performance of mutual sympathy was low.