In almost all forms of media, the man who stereotypically gets the girl has a pretty nice car. It seems as if art does not imitate life, according to a new study in scientific journal Evolutionary Psychological Science. While flaunting wealth will make men look promiscuous, women tend to perceive them as unsuitable for long-term partnerships.
Researchers at the University of Buffalo conducted a study in which undergraduates were quizzed to determine how they interpreted signs of wealth. Scientists gave students descriptions of two men buying cars. Both shoppers had the same car budget, with one buying a car with new paint, a good sound system, and larger wheels. The other made a more frugal investment. Participants were then asked to rate each man on dating, parenting behaviors, attractiveness, and interest in relationships.
Results showed that both men and women evaluating the fictional men rated the man with the fancier car as not good for long term relationships, but better for shorter flings. On the other hand, the man who bought the more prudent car was rated as someone who would make a good parent or husband.