There’s scientific evidence pointing to why men often think they’re always right and it has to do with their testosterone levels, a new study reveals.
According to researchers, testosterone, the sex hormone that stimulates the development of male secondary characteristics, is connected with a greater reliance on gut instincts and less self-reflection.
In other words, men are more impulsive when making decisions.
The study was executed by researchers from Caltech, the Wharton School, Western University and ZRT. They tested the hypothesis that higher levels of testosterone increased the tendency to rely on intuitive judgments and reduce cognitive reflection.
“What we found was the testosterone group was quicker to make snap judgments on brain teasers where your initial guess is usually wrong,” says Caltech’s Colin Camerer. “The testosterone is either inhibiting the process of mentally checking your work or increasing the intuitive feeling that ‘I’m definitely right.'”
The study is one of the largest of its kind and included 243 males who were randomly selected. They received a dose of testosterone gel or placebo gel before being given a cognitive reflection test. Some of the subjects were also given a math-based task for participant engagement, motivation level and basic math skills.
Results revealed that the group that received testosterone scored significantly lower than the placebo group. On average, those participants answered 20 percent fewer questions correctly. The group also “gave incorrect answers more quickly, and correct answers more slowly than the placebo group,” the authors stated.
Researchers believe the results of the study can be linked to testosterone increasing confidence. The hormone is thought to generally enhance the male drive for social status.
“We think it works through confidence enhancement. If you’re more confident, you’ll feel like you’re right and will not have enough self-doubt to correct mistakes,” Camerer says.
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