Frogs make stupid choices in love, according to a new study. This may tell us more about dating among human women and men than any other study before it.
If you have ever wondered how that not-so-attractive man landed that supermodel wife, wonder no more. It turns out, that when given a choice between three mates, certain frogs won’t choose the most attractive mate. Strange, right?
In a study published in Science, researchers showed that the Central American frogs can be “tricked into picking “ugly” mates.” This is largely done through offering them more than two choices. If it’s between only two men, the female frog will always pick the one that’s more “attractive” (which, with frogs, means having a long, low croaking call that repeats rapidly). But a third male makes a female choose the slightly lesser one. But why?
It’s called the “Decoy Effect” and is exhibited in humans, too. If one only has two products, you will choose either the cheapest or the highest quality. But a third item that is similar to the other two makes a person more likely to choose the third best item. It’s irrational. It’s totally out there. But for some reason, it’s true. Both in business and love. Marketers totally play on this truth.
So how can we stop it?
The truth is, we really can’t. Life is rarely stacked up so obviously to be “choosing among three mates,” so to speak. For some people it might feel like the choices are infinite. For others, it really does come down to just one choice. So how would we know if we are “settling”? It seems like it is all in the feeling. The truth is, what one person thinks is “perfection” may be another person’s idea of pure slob. And vice versa. My husband is not the right man for everyone, but for me, he is a perfect match. This is not to say my husband is a loser. Actually, he was by far the best catch of every man I dated in terms of looks, education level, height, sense of humor and every other marker. But even so, we all have different taste. It’s the reason we sometimes ask “what does she SEE in him”?
Love is a complicated thing. That “ugly” guy may have the greatest sense of humor (or biggest wallet) and that hot guy may be a jerk. There is no one answer for who is “best” for any one. Even frogs.