Science Proves More Testosterone Makes You More Stubborn
You and your boyfriend had plans for last night at the new restaurant down the street from you.
You showed up at 7:00 pm (as planned), and you waited for a solid 15 minutes before deciding to give him a call to see where he is.
Turns out, he's been waiting for 15 minutes for you at the restaurant down the street from him. You're livid.
HOW DID HE MESS THIS UP? IT'S LITERALLY IN WRITING IN YOUR TEXT THREAD.
But he doesn't believe you, so you send him a screenshot of your text thread, where you explicitly said "Let's go to the new restaurant down the street from me," and he responded, "Sure, sounds good to me, how does 7 work?"
It's a pretty black-and-white situation. He's wrong. You're right. But of course, he REFUSES to just admit he was in the wrong. No, this is your fault because you text in such large chunks that he couldn't help but miss that one detail.
Or it's your fault because you ALSO talked about how you wanted to try the other restaurant down the street from him at some unidentifiable point in time.
Bottom line in his eyes is, it's your fault, not his.
Well, before you go dumping him for being such a stubborn dingus, you might want to take into account the findings of this new study.
Basically, the researchers from Caltech, the Wharton School, Western University and ZRT Laboratory found that people with higher levels of testosterone (AKA men) tend to think they're right, even when they're wrong, more often than others do.
Caltech's Colin Camerer, the Robert Kirby Professor of Behavioral Economics and T&C Chen Center for Social and Decision Neuroscience Leadership Chair, further explained their findings:
What we found was the testosterone group was quicker to make snap judgments on brain teasers where your initial guess is usually wrong. The testosterone is either inhibiting the process of mentally checking your work or increasing the intuitive feeling that 'I'm definitely right.'
Researchers came to this conclusion by conducting a study on 243 men who were randomly selected to receive either a dose of testosterone gel or a placebo gel before they were given a test.
One of the questions was this simple math problem: "A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?"
For most people, the gut reaction is to say the ball costs 10 cents. However, if you think about that answer (using what fancy scientists call your "cognitive reflection skills"), you'd realize that answer's wrong. That would make the bat cost only 90 cents more than the ball.
The correct answer is that the ball would have to cost $0.05, making the bat cost $1.05.
As you can imagine, the group that received the testosterone gel did NOT crush this test. In fact, they scored way lower than the other group, answering 20 percent fewer of the questions correctly.
Beyond that, the study noted that people with more testosterone were more likely to give their incorrect answers quickly and take a longer time to come up with the right answers. Oof.
The researchers think this all has something to do with the fact that testosterone increases confidence in humans.
"We think it works through confidence enhancement." Camerer explained. "If you're more confident, you'll feel like you're right and will not have enough self-doubt to correct mistakes."
So when your boyfriend just glances over your text conversation and assumes you've got dinner at the place on his street, it could partially be attributed to him being an idiot, but it could also just be all that testosterone in his system urging him to make a quick judgment and go with it.
So pat yourself on the back for snagging a BOLD, CONFIDENT MAN. But also kind of punch yourself on the back because he's chemically predisposed to being a jackass.