When young men were shown erotic pictures, they were more likely to
make a larger financial gamble than if they were shown a picture of
something scary, such as a snake, or something neutral, such as a
stapler, university researchers reported.
The arousing pictures lit up the same part of the brain that lights up when financial risks are taken.
…The study conforms with recent research that indicates men shown a
pornographic movie were more likely to make riskier sexual decisions.
Another suggests straight men think less about their financial future
after being shown pictures of pretty women.
Here is more. One question — and perhaps a more direct test of the hypothesis — is whether traders in more sexually integrated firms do in fact behave differently. Or how about companies located next to modeling agencies? I suspect in real social settings the effect washes out, for reasons identified by Freud (among others) some time ago. The more literally minded among us might also question whether a stapler is in fact a neutral image. It isn’t for me.