— James Allen Hanrahan
Simple. We marry women who can make us better men.
It starts out when we notice that our car is cleaner and our house is cleaner. But then it goes deeper than that. A noble quality comes over us and we want to take care of you.
We want to know where you are. We care about the condition of your car and we make sure you have enough gas. Little things we never thought about become important.
We care about how you feel, not just how you look.
As a woman, you may be thinking, "That sounds great! How do I make it happen?"
The truth is there's nothing you can do to make it happen. However, you can allow it to happen.
It's energetic. The first and most important thing is that a man loves a woman who loves him, but not more than she loves herself. Some people call it confidence — but it goes deeper than that.
Confidence is what you can do; self-love is who you are.
The second key, which builds on the first, is allowing love to happen: You feel comfortable and worthy of being cared for not for what you do but for who you are.
Allowing love means when he checks on your car, you let him. When he wants to get you gas, you let him, rather than saying you can get it yourself.
For a man to become a better man, he needs the space and the opportunity to do so. In short, a man marries a woman who he believes makes life better — and even better, you allow it to happen.
— James Allen Hanrahan
This is because of what's known as the "framing effect," a principle that new research from Concordia has proved applies to mate selection, too.
The study -- co-authored by Concordia marketing professor Gad Saad and Wilfrid Laurier University's Tripat Gill, and published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior -- shows that when we choose a partner, the framing effect is even stronger in women than it is for men.
"When it comes to mate selection, women are more attuned to negatively framed information due to an evolutionary phenomenon called 'parental investment theory,'" says Saad, who has done extensive research on the evolutionary and biological roots of consumer behavior.
"Choosing someone who might be a poor provider or an unloving father would have serious consequences for a woman and for her offspring. So we hypothesized that women would naturally be more leery of negatively framed information when evaluating a prospective mate."
To prove this, Saad and Gill called on hundreds of young men and women to take part in their study.
Participants were given positively and negatively framed descriptions of potential partners. For example: "Seven out of 10 people who know this person think that this person is kind." [positive frame] versus "Three out of 10 people who know this person think that this person is not kind." [negative frame]
The researchers tested the framing effect using six key attributes, two of which are more important to men and women respectively, and two that are considered as necessities by both sexes:
Participants evaluated both high-quality ( seven out of 10 people think this person is kind) and low-quality ( three out of 10 people think this person is kind) prospective mates for these attributes, in the context of a short-term fling or a long-term relationship.
More often than not, women said they were far less likely to date the potential mates described in the negatively framed descriptions -- even though in each instance, they were being presented with exactly the same information as in the positively framed descriptions.
Women also proved more susceptible to framing effects in attributes like ambition and earning potential, while men responded more strongly to framing when physical attractiveness was described.
This research highlights how an evolutionary lens could help explain the biologicial origins of seemingly "irrational" decision-making biases like the framing effect.