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Submission + - Sorry Ladies, Male Altruism is Just for Attracting Mates (

pigrabbitbear writes: "A new paper in the British Journal of Psychology experimentally tests the idea that men do good deeds to show off and gain favor with potential mates.

Researchers, Wendy Iredale and Mark Van Vugt of Sheffield and Oxford University, had a bunch of young men and woman partake in a “public goods game” – essentially a computer game that involved donating real money to a group fund with the loose promise that you, and the invisible strangers sharing the fund, would make more money if each member donated more than they kept.

Iredale and Vugt stuck an “observer” in the experiment, who would closely watch individual subjects play the game. By mixing up the sex of the observer, they were able to collect data that compared how subjects were differentially affected by being watched by a man or woman . They found that the only scenario that significantly increased public donations was when the subject was a man and the observer was a female."

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