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Reward Psychology Roundup

December 26, 2008

Casanovas are more reckless with money, and dogs envy other dogs.


Did sex cause the recession? I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Men who plan to have multiple sexual partners are far more likely to pursue a reckless fiscal policy than men who plan to have few partners. This according to University of Michigan researcher Paul Kruger. In surveys filled out by men 18 to 45 years old, those with the riskiest financial strategies had more sexual encounters in the past and looked forward to more in the future. Kruger claims that taking fiscal risks shows females and competing males that you’re rich and powerful.

In other psychology news, scientists in Vienna have found that dogs will stop performing tricks if other dogs nearby get rewarded when they don’t. The quality of the reward didn’t matter—sometimes it was just a little bread. Apparently, it’s just the principle of the thing. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.