Men feel worse about themselves when female partners succeed
Deep down, men may not bask in the glory of their successful wives or girlfriends. While this is not true of women, men’s subconscious self-esteem may be bruised when their spouse or girlfriend excels, says a new study.
Aug. 29, 2013 — Deep down, men may not bask in the glory of their successful wives or girlfriends. While this is not true of women, men’s subconscious self-esteem may be bruised when their spouse or girlfriend excels, says a study published by the American Psychological Association.It didn’t matter if their significant other was an excellent hostess or intelligent, men were more likely to feel subconsciously worse about themselves when their female partner succeeded than when she failed, according to the study published online in the APA Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. However, women’s self-esteem was not affected by their male partners’ successes or failures, according to the research, which looked at heterosexual Americans and Dutch.”It makes sense that a man might feel threatened if his girlfriend outperforms him in something they’re doing together, such as trying to lose weight,” said the study’s lead author, Kate Ratliff, PhD, of the University of Florida. “But this research found evidence that men automatically interpret a partner’s success as their own failure, even when they’re not in direct competition”Men subconsciously felt worse about themselves when they thought about a time when their female partner thrived in a situation in which they had failed, according to the findings. The researchers studied 896 people in five experiments.In one experiment, 32 couples from the University of Virginia were given what was described as a “test of problem solving and social intelligence” and then told that their partner scored either in the top or bottom 12 percent of all university students. Hearing that their partner scored high or low on the test did not affect what the researchers called participants’ explicit self-esteem — i.e., how they said they felt.Participants were also given a test to determine how they felt subconsciously about their partners’ performance, which the researchers called implicit self-esteem. In this test, a computer tracks how quickly people associate good and bad words with themselves. For example, participants with high implicit self-esteem who see the word “me” on a computer screen are more likely to associate it with words such as “excellent” or “good” rather than “bad” or “dreadful.”Men who believed that their partner scored in the top 12 percent demonstrated significantly lower implicit self-esteem than men who believed their partner scored in the bottom 12 percent. Participants did not receive information about their own performance.Findings were similar in two more studies conducted in the Netherlands. …
For more info: Men feel worse about themselves when female partners succeed