A dating dry spell may spell trouble for your money. Yes, you read that right. Apparently, if you’re single and are finding it difficult to find romantic partners, then you may be at risk of making bad financial decisions.
This should concern straight, single women, who easily outnumber straight men in cities across the world. They need to keep a closer eye on their investments and try to avoid risky options. According to new research conducted by the University of Michigan, the Kellogg School of Management, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, if you’re single, you may be a riskier investor if you have fewer ‘romantic prospects’ in your area.
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Joshua Ackerman, psychological scientist at the University of Michigan and the lead author of the research, said in a press release,
“Environmental cues indicating that one will have a relatively difficult time finding a mate can drive people to concentrate their investment choice into a few high-risk, high-return options. This is true even when the decisions people are making are not explicitly relevant to romantic outcomes.”
Further, he said,
“This is exactly opposite from the pattern of investing we would predict if we assumed people were using an economically ‘rational’ decision strategy. From an evolutionary perspective, if the options are to do whatever it takes to find a romantic partner or risk not finding one, the more rational choice may be to do whatever it takes.”
Suggested read: Falling in love takes only one-fifth of a second, says Science
These findings are based on a concept called ‘operational sex ratio’ (OSR), wherein heterosexual singles in a given area perceive the number of heterosexual singles of the opposite sex available, with whom they might commingle. The research says,
“The OSR dictates both the availability of potential mates and the degree of competition for those mates.”
In a practical sense, career planning to spending to saving, everything could be unknowingly determined by OSR.
Participants in the research’s experiments chose made riskier decisions, which goes agains the rationale, rather than ‘bet hedging,’ which is spreading the risk. In one of the tests, the participants were asked to invest in an imaginary retirement account, by spreading money between high-risk, high-return stocks, low-risk, low-return bonds, and no-risk, little-return savings accounts. And when the researchers manipulated the experiment such that the participants were made to believe that they were at a ‘competitive mating disadvantage,’ the disadvantaged group spread their risks less, thus losing money from their imaginary retirement account.
In conclusion, Ackerman said,
“This research has the potential to affect anyone making decisions with uncertain outcomes, including both single and romantically committed men and women.”
Here’s hoping that you don’t remain single for too long and your dating dry spell ends soon, so that you don’t lose all your money by investing riskily. 😛
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