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Sexy Commercials Boost Selfishness

Update Date: Sep 17, 2014 11:24 PM EDT
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Commercials and advertisements featuring sexy women make men more selfish, according to a new study.

In the latest study, researchers looked at how male consumers reacted to images of sexy women. They found that those who were exposed to suggestive images felt less empathy for others and were less likely to buy products advertised as benefiting others or giving to charity.

"Images of sexy women are ubiquitous in modern society and heavily used in advertising. Our primary focus is to show how exposure to pictures of sexy women could temporarily decrease the male consumer's sense of psychological connectedness with others," lead researchers Xiuping Li of National University of Singapore and Meng Zhang of Chinese University of Hong Kong, said in a news release.

The latest study involved men between the ages of 18 and 24. Participants were divided into three groups: those who viewed pictures of sexy women, those who viewed pleasant pictures like landscapes and those who did not view pictures.

The findings revealed that men who looked at the images of sexy women focused more on themselves and less than their social roles and how others viewed them.

Furthermore, men who looked at images of sexy women perceived themselves as having fewer similarities and being significantly more disconnected from others, These men were also less likely to be generous.

"Important implications can be drawn from our findings. For example, charities that appeal for donations and brands selling environmentally friendly products might want to reconsider placing advertisements in media that are rich in visual sexual cues (such as popular men's magazines or late-night TV shows) since these strategies may backfire," researchers concluded.

The findings are published in the Journal of Consumer Research.

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