The gender of compromise
Decisions are part of life. You have to make decisions on your own and sometimes you have to make decisions with other people. According to new research if you want a decision that will involve some compromise rather than just choosing an extreme option, then you want one of the decision makers to be a woman.
The study involved more than 1800 people who were divided into pairs. Each pair was either a man-man pair, a woman-man pair or a woman-woman pair. The pairs were all involved in making decisions over things like what prizes to seek in a lottery, whether to buy risky or safe stocks, and buying things like printers, tyres, torches, toothpaste, headphones, hotels or bigger things like cars.
When a woman was involved, either with another woman or a man, a compromise middle-ground would be decided on as the course of action.
The results showed that, no matter what was being purchased or considered, when a woman was involved, either with another woman or a man, a compromise middle-ground would be decided on as the course of action. When a man was involved, the pairs always moved away from compromise and towards a more extreme option. For example, if two men were involved in deciding whether to go for a safe car or a more fuel-efficient car, they would choose one at the extreme end of one scale rather than one that offered a little of both. When a woman entered the equation, however, a middle ground was always arrived at.
The researchers say that women perform the same with another woman as they do with another man because they do not need to prove anything to another woman. Womanhood, they say, is not precarious, while masculinity (as other research shows) needs to be continuously proven and men partly do this by making extreme decisions and avoiding compromise.
Hello … American electorate … are you listening?
Source: Journal of Consumer Research