Men More Likely Than Women to Shop at Store With Tall, Athletic Male Employee

Photo: Damir Khabirov (Getty Images)

Despite what Hooters and bikini car washes have lead you to believe, it turns what motivates male spending is being helped by…a tall, handsome man.

That’s according to a study conducted by Professor Tobias Otterbring from the Service Research Center at Sweden’s Karlstad University. The study, which monitored purchases in a furniture store over one weekend found men spent an average of $172 when a hunk was around. Whereas women only spent an average of $72 when dealing with the same clerk.

However, when a hot guy was absent, men spent an average of only $92 and women $97. Additionally, the study found the presence of a handsome man increased the average price per item purchased from $10 to $18. Meow.

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Driven by Competition

So what’s motivating all this overspending? Otterbring theorizes the man they chose triggered a competitive instinct in the male shoppers. You see, the clerk working was not only taller than 95% of Americans but was also a professional athlete.

Being unable to match the man’s physically dominant stature caused surrounding males to compensate through flashy displays of consumption. Like when monkey’s fling their poo, if only the poo was money.

Photo: Hero Images (Getty Images)

In an interview with Harvard Business Review, Otterbring added:

“In our follow-up lab experiments, which involved manipulating photos of men to appear either more fit or not, we found that seeing the images of stronger-looking guys caused men (but not women) to prefer larger logos on their clothing. We later determined that this effect was driven by the shorter male study participants, not the taller ones.”

Photo: Vera Kandybovich / EyeEm (Getty Images)

What About Women?

Thanks to such a dramatic difference in spending, it begs the question why women weren’t as motivated to impress the store employee with their money. The answer, it turns out, is biologically driven.

You see, historically it’s been more beneficial for women to put their health and beauty on display. Otterbring did note, in similar studies that pit women against women, women are more likely to favor beautification products and behaviors.

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The Takeaway

There really isn’t anything shocking found in this study. Men are compensating for, uh, other things, by dropping crazy money. What makes a man isn’t his size, stature or how much money he has. What makes a man is a conglomeration of characteristics that create a well rounded, empathetic and caring individual.