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Biotech Medicine Science

FMRI Shows Man Loves Wife More Than Angelina Jolie 347

Posted by timothy
from the shouldn't-stand-up-in-court-though dept.
An anonymous reader writes "We've discussed (at length) functional MRI technology as it pertains to marketing and virtual reality, but now Esquire writer A.J. Jacobs has become the first person to go inside the controversial machine to test the science behind his sex drive. As in, he has fMRI experts read his mind as to whether he's actually more turned on by his young wife or Angelina Jolie. The results, unsurprisingly, are both geeky and hilarious. Would you subject yourself to this kind of reality check?"
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FMRI Shows Man Loves Wife More Than Angelina Jolie

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  • by syousef (465911) on Monday May 18, 2009 @01:35AM (#27991797) Journal

    I think the MRI would find I preferred rotten turnip to Angelina Jolie. I think she's got no class. The term trailer trash comes to mind.

    I actually do love my wife (who doesn't read this board, so this isn't some big suck up) but there would be plenty of celebs (and a few rotten vegies) that'd come closer than Jolie would.

  • Anonymous Coward (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18, 2009 @01:45AM (#27991853)

    I would expect that the brain would associate alot of memories and data connected to his wife that he couldn't have about Angelina. Is this really about romance or is there something else going on here...

  • by RyanFenton (230700) on Monday May 18, 2009 @01:53AM (#27991903)

    The MythBusters had an episode (episode 93 according to google) where they had team members who took part in a mock crime in order to test various "lie detection" methods, complete with real punishments for various outcomes.

    It wasn't valid science, but it was a fascinating exploration of how one could fool these various tests. The polygraph was the usual mumbo jumbo, but the MRI test was interesting in showing how difficult it is to isolate anything for interpretation. I interpreted the results as an effectively random outcome, much like the interpretation is being used here - all correlation with an external event, with everyone involved convincing themselves they've isolated the causation.

    But if this works for him to convince himself that he truly loves his wife, I'm not going to argue with him.

    To me, it shows the value of double(or more)-blind testing.

    Ryan Fenton

  • by RyanFenton (230700) on Monday May 18, 2009 @02:15AM (#27992009)

    I don't know whether or not this is a joke. A double blind test is when neither the administrators nor the patients know what drug they are getting. Only after the trials are finished, and the patients tested for the substance, does it come to light who did and who didn't take the drug. How could there be a more blind study? Maybe I am just ignorant/unfunny.

    Not at all - in triple-blind studies, those who are interpreting the results also don't know which 'drug' is being tallied, and so can't know to shape numbers in a given way. Source [wikipedia.org]. For every level of interpretation that can occur before the study is 'complete' to publish, there's another level of blindness you could potentially apply.

    Ryan Fenton

  • by tezbobobo (879983) on Monday May 18, 2009 @02:18AM (#27992019) Homepage Journal

    I originally assumed it was another of those 'gay nigger' posts which used to frequent slashdot. Still not sure though. I love my wife and she is deeply beautiful (also doesn't read slashdot) but that doesn't stop Angelina from being hot.

  • by hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Monday May 18, 2009 @02:20AM (#27992033)

    Bad post...I wasn't clear. My point is that the reflexive reaction, no matter what it is, isn't the one that has a lot to do with a long-term pair bond. A sexy picture of the significant other is going to conjure memories of an actual physical relationship. A sexy picture of somebody hot might be stimulating, but it can't replicate the memory of something that has actually happened.

  • by chis101 (754167) on Monday May 18, 2009 @02:26AM (#27992051)

    90% success rate? That's all! I have a 95% success rate at detecting lies personally (no fancy equipment necessary, I just look at the guy and then I know).

    Right, because after someone lies to you, they notify you of the fact so you can tally it up into a percentage...

    I'll just assume you meant that 95% of the time you that accuse someone of lying, you are correct.

    Sorry if this was some joke that just went right over my head ;)

  • by Capsaicin (412918) on Monday May 18, 2009 @02:36AM (#27992095)

    They should have chosen a celebrity who the subject does find very attractive.

    That's exactly what they did.

  • Well of course. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Xest (935314) on Monday May 18, 2009 @03:10AM (#27992237)

    He's not going to "Love" Angela Jolie more because he doesn't know her to have that bond.

    That doesn't mean he wouldn't rather shag her though!

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday May 18, 2009 @03:14AM (#27992249)

    If the lie detector wasn't bad enough, this certainly takes the cake of "tests" concerning the psyche of people. It's anything but unheard of that lie detectors are wrong (you can actually train that, go figure), and they at least have a semblance of a realistice chance to guess right. You are asked questions, your physical reaction is measured. That's at least straightforward. Worthless, because if you have a little control over your autonomic system (it's possible, to some degree) you can easily fool it, but at least there's a connection.

    Now here's a man that loves his wife more than Angie. So? Maybe he's not into this kind of woman? Maybe he really loves his wife, or maybe he loves fat chicks, unless you ask him (and he chooses to tell the truth) you'll never know.

    You add another variable to a test that is already guesswork at best: Personal taste and preference. It's not just true or false anymore. A lie detector is at least straightforward with the question, even if the answer is mostly just "maybe" in most cases. With this test, even the question is fuzzy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18, 2009 @03:15AM (#27992253)

    Che Guevara wasn't the saint that people make him out to be.

    He was responsible for a lot of innocent deaths.

    He was, to be frank, a cold-blooded killer of many people who didn't agree with his philosophies and ideals.

    I, personally, find both Hitler and Che Guevara to be repellent and disgusting individuals (and for the record, I'm an incredibly left-leaning socialist).

  • by Jurily (900488) <jurily AT gmail DOT com> on Monday May 18, 2009 @03:15AM (#27992255)

    The chances of your wife being 'deeply beautiful' are almost nil.

    If that's true, you fucked up. Why the hell do you marry someone in the first place?

    And no men don't gradually find girls they live with to be more and more attractive over time.

    Bullshit.

    On the other hand, women find men they like to be more attractive than they really are.

    So now you know attractiveness better than the people whose opinion actually matters to each other? How is this crap Insightful?

  • by knutkracker (1089397) on Monday May 18, 2009 @03:21AM (#27992279)
    References?
  • by Jurily (900488) <jurily AT gmail DOT com> on Monday May 18, 2009 @03:24AM (#27992297)

    With 25,000 of work, she could probably look like a movie star.

    Why do people still think knives are instruments of beauty? Can you show me anyone who looked better one year after their surgery than they did before?

  • by Sobrique (543255) on Monday May 18, 2009 @03:40AM (#27992367) Homepage
    Utter nonsense. Pretty? Yeah sure, I'll give you that. 'pretty' is quite well defined by the media, and Miss World contests. But beautiful?:

    "Beauty is a characteristic of a person, animal, place, object, or idea that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure, meaning, or satisfaction."

    Therefore a wife being 'deeply beautiful' isn't such a remote possibity, even if they don't fit the 'supermodel pretty' that we're told is what's important.

  • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Monday May 18, 2009 @04:47AM (#27992685) Homepage Journal

    I call bullshit. This sounds like something the nerd in the basement figured out by reading a bunch of magazines found under his daddy's mattress. If a man says his wife if more attractive than some popular tart on the television screen, I believe him. My wife is. As for the "celebs" - phhht. There aren't very many of them who ARE better than trailer trash.

  • by Moraelin (679338) on Monday May 18, 2009 @05:02AM (#27992771) Journal

    The chances of your wife being 'deeply beautiful' are almost nil. So yes you are sucking up to your wife. And no men don't gradually find girls they live with to be more and more attractive over time. On the other hand, women find men they like to be more attractive than they really are.

    So, in a fundamentally subjective matter, you presume to tell people that their own perception is wrong? I'm used to this kind of crap coming from game fanboys, but it's a new twist to actually see it applied to something as _blatantly_ subjective as physical beauty.

    If a woman X is attracted to man Y, that's it. That's by definition "attractive". He's attractive... for her. Hint: notice the common word root in there.

    Who the fuckk do you think you _are_ to tell her that, in something that's 100% personal perception, her perception is wrong?

    And yes, it's 100% subjective. Some people like older women. In fact, for some, it's a major turn on. There's a whole genre of porn about 70+ year old women. (So, yes, to answer that objection, that's one case he actually might like her more after 40 years of marriage.)

    Some people like women who are anything between a bit overweight, to outright obese. Again, check out some of the BBW porn out there, and some looks like they filmed a vaguely humanoid blob of fat. Someone pays to watch those, you know?

    Some people like huge breasts. Some actually like them small. And I won't just use porn this time, but look at the ideal of female beauty of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Look at all those sculptures that are barely A cup. Presumably because it represented a young woman who hasn't had children yet. (Ditto about the huge penis obsession recently, BTW: the greeks considered a perfect penis to be rather small, and they actually exaggerated in that direction in a lot of their statues. Huge phaluses were considered something the barbarians have.) To get back to breasts, the romans are sometimes credited with inventing the bra, but that's misleading. What actually got into fashion there wasn't some padded wonderbra, but just a strip of cloth tied over the breasts to press them down, so she looks like she has smaller breasts than she actually has.

    A lot of people people like redheads, and especially in places where there aren't that many born naturally that way. But in the UK where they have the highest percentage of them, a lot of people aren't turned on by that mutation at all, and the term "ginger" is used as an insult.

    Etc. It's really that subjective.

    Maybe his wife wouldn't be "deeply beautiful" to you, but how do you know it isn't for him? Oh, right, you presume to tell someone that his tastes are wrong and yours are some kind of platinum standard for all humanity. Carry on.

  • by makisupa (118663) * on Monday May 18, 2009 @05:03AM (#27992783) Homepage

    Seriously, in your brain your wife is a very complicated entity that's backed with a serious amount of information. Where you sat on your first date? That (hopefully) subtle look on her face when she can't stand her friend's conversation matter?

    Might be more interesting to see how much you 'love' someone you actually despise but know very, very well.

    Unless you have a horrible marriage or are a child, your marriage is a unique thing to your brain. Comparing it to your feelings for Angelina Anybody is just a little different than comparing it to your feelings for your driveway pavement (unless you're delusional ... another result I'd love to see).

    Feel free to tell me to RTFA, I skimmed :p

  • by Jurily (900488) <jurily AT gmail DOT com> on Monday May 18, 2009 @05:42AM (#27992995)

    He knows attractiveness better than people with both interference from emotional attachments and good reasons to lie about their opinions.

    Again, bullshit. If you think attractiveness is or can possibly be objective, you never got tired of talking to a beautiful but incredibly stupid woman.

  • by nizo (81281) * on Monday May 18, 2009 @07:01AM (#27993385) Homepage Journal

    Why do people still think knives are instruments of beauty? Can you show me anyone who looked better one year after their surgery than they did before?

    Yes:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30586321/ [msn.com]

  • by bcmm (768152) on Monday May 18, 2009 @07:04AM (#27993407)
    Ignorant people can be educated. Stupid people really, really can not.
  • by skiman1979 (725635) on Monday May 18, 2009 @08:01AM (#27993715)

    The chances of your wife being 'deeply beautiful' are almost nil. So yes you are sucking up to your wife. And no men don't gradually find girls they live with to be more and more attractive over time. On the other hand, women find men they like to be more attractive than they really are.

    To me, and I'm sure also a lot of men (and women) out there, 'attractiveness' is more than just physical. Personality can also play a key role in attractiveness. I may find a "perfect 10" woman, but if she has no personality, some of that attractiveness is lost.

    Women find men to be as attractive as those men are [b]to that woman[/b].

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday May 18, 2009 @08:07AM (#27993753) Homepage Journal

    He knows attractiveness better than people with both interference from emotional attachments and good reasons to lie about their opinions.

    You're wrong about people who love each other and are sincerely are attracted to their loved ones.

    Plus, this view of life is why your girlfriend is a wadded-up kleenex.

  • by geminidomino (614729) * on Monday May 18, 2009 @08:24AM (#27993909) Journal

    My experience seems to swing the opposite direction, but Ron White said it better than I did.

    I didn't marry my wife for looks, and you shouldn't either. In a few years, if her boobs start to sag too much, there's a place you can go to and they'll lift 'em right back up to where they were. And you can point the nipple in any direction. Hell, you can go to a titty bar, pick out a set of titties and say "I want those titties on that woman right there." If she gets too fat and don't wanna work it off, you can get a tummy tuck. They'll give you a belly that looks like a cheerleader. If your eyesight starts to go bad, you can get Lasik surgery and they can give you 20/20 vision at any age. If your hearing starts to fail, they'll put a little device in your ear that makes you hear as good as when you were born. But let me tell you something folks- you can't fix stupid. There's not a pill you can take. There's not a class you can go to. Stupid is fo-evah.

  • by foniksonik (573572) on Monday May 18, 2009 @11:01AM (#27996833) Homepage Journal

    The correct answer - "I don't know, take it off, I need to compare" at which point you go down on her and she forgets all about it.

  • Re:Well of course. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by clone53421 (1310749) on Monday May 18, 2009 @11:26AM (#27997313) Journal

    when the movie Serenity came out, the /. thread evolved into guys who thought the engineer girl was hot or cute

    OH MY GOOD FUCKING LORD, YES [xs139.xs.to].

    I'm almost tempted to leave "Post Anonymously" unchecked.

  • by Dishevel (1105119) * on Monday May 18, 2009 @11:56AM (#27997945)
    All I want to add to this conversation is...

    Jessica Alba

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