Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned! Being rejected by an attractive man makes women cruel to other men
- Researchers found that being rejected by an attractive man actually makes a woman more likely to turn down an unattractive one
- It is as if distancing herself from the unattractive man helps her retain the idea that she is high status, cushioning the blow of the rejection
It’s the plotline of many a cheesy rom-com: Woman rejected by a good-looking lothario is scooped up by the Average Joe who’s been waiting in the wings all along.
But in real life it may be a very different story, according to a study.
Researchers found that, rather than being grateful for the fall-back option, being rejected by an attractive man actually makes a woman more likely to turn down an unattractive one, and to describe him harshly.
Not interested: Scientist say that women who have been rejected distancing themselves from an unattractive man to help her retain the idea that she is high status, cushioning the blow of the rejection
It is as if distancing herself from the unattractive man helps her retain the idea that she is high status, cushioning the blow of the rejection.
‘Participants rejected by the attractive man also derogated the unattractive man even when the unattractive man offered acceptance,’ said the psychologists from the University of Toronto.
‘Social psychologists theorise that individuals seek connection following rejection.
‘However, accepting connection from a low status other may imply that one is of similarly low status, which may call into question one’s prospects for future acceptance.’
No chance: Experts say theorise that accepting connection from a low status other may imply that one is of similarly low status, which may call into question one’s prospects for future acceptance
For the study, researchers recruited 126 single women and created dating profiles for them.
The participants were told that these profiles would be viewed and evaluated by two men that they could potentially meet at the end of the experiment.
They then read the two men’s profiles (which had actually been written by the researchers); one had a photo of an attractive man attached, while the other was paired with a photo of an unattractive man.
PERFECTIONIST? YOU’RE PROBABLY CRUEL
Having a perfectionist on your team at work might well be considered a positive when you’re striving to do a good job.
But beware – they could have a dark side.
Researchers have found that the type of perfectionist who sets impossibly high standards for others also tends to be narcissistic, antisocial, and more likely to make jokes at the expense of others.
These people, described by psychologists as ‘other-oriented’ perfectionists, care little about social norms and also struggle with intimacy, the study of 229 people by the University of Kent found.
As well as ‘other-oriented’ perfectionists, psychologists recognise two other types: ‘self-orientated’ and socially-prescribed’.
Self-orientated perfectionists do care about social norms, and prefer humour that enhances relationships, shying away from aggressive jokes.
Socially-prescribed perfectionists, on the other hand, make self-deprecating jokes, have low self-esteem and a low self-regard, and often feel inferior.
They do not respond well to positive feedback.
Afterwards the women were told whether the men were interested in meeting them or whether they had turned them down.
Writing in the Journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science the researchers said: ‘Participants who were rejected by one of the men distanced themselves from and derogated him as indicated by less interest in meeting him and lower ratings of attractiveness, responsiveness, and romantic appeal compared to those in the acceptance and control conditions.
‘Of greatest interest, participants who were rejected by the attractive man were also relatively uninterested in meeting the unattractive man and derogated him even when he was accepting.’
The researchers then carried out a second, identical experiment with another 166 women and found that the same thing happened.
‘Being rejected by the attractive man appeared to make participants less willing to affiliate with the unattractive man and more inclined to evaluate him harshly,’ the researchers concluded.
‘This is consistent with our hypothesis that individuals distance themselves from unattractive others following rejections that call into question their attractiveness.
‘Derogating and avoiding affiliation with the unattractive man may have enabled rejected individuals to psychologically distance themselves from the stigma of being associated with unattractive others.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3081480/Hell-hath-no-fury-like-woman-scorned-rejected-attractive-man-makes-women-cruel-men.html#ixzz5CPOqn6Hk
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It’s said that absence makes the heart fonder. But it seems that romantic rejection sure doesn’t, at least when it comes from a certified hottie, according to a new study in Social Psychological and Personality Science. It found that when hopeful women were rejected by an attractive man, they themselves became cold-hearted toward less attractive prospects, even when the latter man expressed his own interest.
Gathering together the most eager of dating pools, undergraduate college students, the authors assigned nearly 300 single women across two studies to craft together an online dating profile in hopes of being seen by two prospective matches, whose profiles the women got to see in turn. And if any sparks flew, the women were told they’d get to meet their potential boos. Soon after, the women heard back from both men simultaneously, who either randomly rejected or graciously accepted to awkwardly flirt with them in person. Unbeknownst to the women, the men’s profiles were randomly assigned to contain a picture of an attractive or unattractive man, as judged by earlier, presumably fun, research. Finally, the women were themselves asked to accept or reject the men, as well as to rate each man’s attractiveness, romantic appeal, and level of responsiveness.
With the trap set, the researchers found that when the attractive profile expressed interest in the women, they were likely to bat their eyes back, with more than two-thirds of the women interested in meeting said hotties. Notably, the women were almost as eager to meet the homely guy when both types of men expressed interest.But once the attractive men rejected the women, they not only lost interest in ever seeing him again, but his less comely counterpart too. Even when the unattractive men were interested, less than a quarter of women were keen to meet them if the sting of the attractive men’s rejection was fresh in their minds.They were also more likely to insult the unattractive men’s romantic and physical qualities. And though it might go without saying, there was no similar effect seen when women were rejected by an ugly suitor but accepted by a cutie.
The authors explain people often become antisocial in the face of personal rejection, usually as a means of cushioning the blow to their ego. If the nightclub doesn’t want to let you and your friends in, then maybe the nightclub is actually awful and you didn’t even want to go to their stupid party in the first place. But they further elaborate that some previous research has shown that social acceptance can counteract that defensiveness, by reestablishing a sense of connection. Their results indicate that the picture is more muddled than that. «[B]eing affiliated with an unattractive man would make those women feel like that’s the kind of man they ‘deserve,’ which puts their larger social goals at risk,» said lead author Dr. Greg MacDonald from the University of Toronto in a press release. It seems that being considered unworthy of an attractive partner spurns us to do anything to avoid confirming that perception. And it might even make us more eager to punch down, in hopes of being seen as too good for someone else on the lower rung of the social ladder.
The authors point out that their results might have turned out differently had they paired two attractive profiles, or by instead using an even more attractive profile. “It is possible that rejection by a highly attractive individual would not spur the same defensive reactions, given that most people should not expect to be desired by the most attractive potential partners and thus may not experience threat to their own sense of attractiveness,” they wrote.
But perhaps this study as it stands can simply remind us to treat others as we’d like to be treated by them. Even if they’re not a looker, and even if that cutie at the bar already turned us down.
Source: MacDonald G, Baratta P, Tzalazidis R. Resisting Connection Following Social Exclusion: Rejection by an Attractive Suitor Provokes Derogation of an Unattractive Suitor. Social Psychological and Personality Science. 2015.