Thursday, November 05, 2009

I'm not evil

We don't like to think that we are immoral, so we make up reasons for our behaviour that make us look good. We even believe them ourselves.

A recent study found that given the choice between two magazines, one with women in swimsuits and one without, the men chose the swimsuit magazine. That wasn't the reason they gave, though. Each man was shown two magazines: one with wider sports coverage and another with more articles, and one or other of these had the bikini pictures. The men chose the magazines with swimsuit pictures but justified their choice by saying that they liked the magazine because it had more articles, or wider sports coverage. When they were told the real reason for their choice they did not believe it.

It's interesting to bear in mind when constructing villains. No one ever thinks that they are the villain.

Thanks to Mind Hacks for an excellent summary of the article.


Bevie said...

Which raises the question: Am I a villain?

Richard said...

Not 'all' men are so easily distracted by a bit of exposed flesh.

The magazine was one experiment, but it's not been the only one - and sometimes the results aren't what you might intuitively expect.

And for what it's worth, this particular man tends to avoid magazines with too much graphical content regardless of what that content is, unless it's strictly necessary to the article - it's distracting and annoying.

FH might well remember many years ago when I bemoaned the passing of a Usenet server in favour of a web-based forum for exactly the same reason!

Bevie said...

Oh, and whether or not I chose a magazine with a woman in a swimsuit would also depend on the woman and the swimsuit.

I never read the articles. [grin]

Kevin Musgrove said...

Yup, a lot would depend on the woman and the swimsuit.

If/when I do make that choice I'm happy to admit as to the why. I suspect I need to learn to be a better liar.

fairyhedgehog said...

Bevie, no you're not a villain, no matter which magazine you choose!

Richard, that's very funny. I'm sure not "all" men are distracted by bare women but we do all rationalise our choices, I believe.

Kevin, the trick is to lie to yourself. The trouble is that then you don't know you're doing it.

Tara McClendon said...

Great point! Many people often do things that might be border-line "evil" because others seem to approve of the action. For example, a church member can have a Sports Illustrated magazine on his coffee table, and it won't raise eyebrows like a Victoria's Secret catalog would.

fairyhedgehog said...

Tara, I'm laughing at a church member with Victoria's Secret catalogue on his coffee table!

Ms Scarlet said...

Men are very visual creatures.
I sometimes buy celeb mags to because it cheers me up to know that celebs also have cellulite.
I don't do this very often.

fairyhedgehog said...

Scarlet, if only cellulite were the worst of my problems!

Bevie said...

You can subscribe to Victoria's Secret?

fairyhedgehog said...

Bevie, who knew?

Robin B. said...

I agree. I wasn't evil when I worked at that Club and wore that bunny outfit, honey. I did it on a dare, and I thought going in there and being brazen enough to give something that was to me totally outlandish was pretty brave. I wasnt there long, because I felt like a fool in the outfit, but hey, a brave fool, nonetheless.

the.effing.librarian said...

magazine priorities:
1. beautiful women
2. funny, dirty cartoons
3. naked women
4. moderately-attractive women eating pie

Richard N said...

@ T.E.L.

I'll settle for the pie first, then the women - their state of dress or otherwise doesn't matter because I'd be eating the pie!

Nigella Lawson - with pie, and recipe for more pie - would be just perfect... much more attractive than your 'stereotypical' model-type, and she can teach me how to cook better too. :-)

If I wasn't a villain to begin with, if anybody was going to tempt me she's a good candidate...

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