Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Attractive 'make meal of food bill'

People who think they are attractive are less likely to offer to pay for a dinner date, according to a study

People who think they are attractive are less likely to offer to pay for a dinner date, according to a new study.

Researchers found that people who judge themselves good-looking tend to expect their potential love interest to pay for the meal.

Psychologists from the University of St Andrews also found that women preferred men to pay, especially when they were handsome.

Men were more likely to offer to pay for female dates if they were pretty.

Psychologist Dr Michael Stirrat said: "The context is a hypothetical dating context.

"You would expect people to have a knowledge about how good-looking they were and so the more attractive people in that context are just going to get more interest so they need to make less effort in that situation either to meet people, or get a chance to impress people, so it does make sense that more attractive people would be less willing to pay."

The psychologists carried out the study by setting up hypothetical blind dates. They asked the 245 men and 171 women to rate how handsome or pretty they thought they were.

The researchers then showed them 12 facial images of the opposite sex, ranging from unattractive to good-looking, and asked them who they would prefer to pay the bill if they went for a meal.

Most often participants said they would prefer to split the bill, with 47% of men questioned and 50% of women quizzed choosing that option.

The study - The Effect of Attractiveness on Food Sharing Preferences in Human Mating Markets - is published in Evolutionary Psychology.

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