A research group of Lora E. Park, Ariana F. Young, and Paul W. Eastwick, recently published a paper about their study entitled “(Psychological) Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder”. In this work, the three scientists prove, through a series of tests, interviews and experiments, that in truth, men tend to be scared of intelligent women.
At first, they may claim that they are interested in being with a smart woman.
The first stage of the survey made the participants read hypothetical scenarios about meeting a woman who scored higher than them in an intelligence test, or who was more capable in some tasks. In the theoretical exercise, the men claimed that they would be romantically interested in such women.
However, on the next stage of the survey, the results proved these findings to be inaccurate.
They had to come in contact with a woman that scored higher on the IQ test and sat next to them. Then, at command, they must move their chairs away from them. The result was that the men were prone to moving as far away as possible. This fact was associated in the researchers’ opinion with the need to not be connected to them, as they threatened their sense of masculinity.
In the last stage, most men claimed to be interested in dating a woman, only in the cases where she was in another room, and was not in direct contact with them.
The findings were summarised as follows: “The studies revealed that when evaluating psychologically distant targets. Men showed greater attraction toward women who displayed more (vs. less) intelligence than themselves. In contrast, when targets were psychologically near, men showed less attraction toward women who outsmarted them.”