study

Something About Beer (Under the Influence)

So … er … ah …

HopsYou know that thing where you’re out to drinks with friends, and you’d very much like an IPA―but then the first person to order chooses an IPA, and you feel like you can’t order the same thing, because that would be weird? So you order an amber ale instead. The drinks arrive, and you unhappily sip the second-choice beer you already regret ordering.

(Dahl)

… really?

No, seriously. I … I … I mean … really?

This actually happens?

Science of UsYou know, that thing. Or maybe you don’t. It’s a semi-regular scene from my own life, anyway, and it’s also a scene from Wharton professor Jonah Berger’s new book, Invisible Influence, which is about the unseen ways the people around you shape your behavior. The beer anecdote is a brief rundown of a study conducted at a brewery by the consumer psychologists Dan Ariely and Jonathan Levav, who argue in their paper that people are highly motivated to signal their uniqueness, even when it comes to something as small and dumb as ordering a beer.

Alright, then. I just learned something.

No, really, I had no idea.

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Dahl, Melissa. “The Annoying Psychology of How Your Friends Influence the Beer You Order”. Science of Us. 9 September 2016.

Unsettling

A Yoma feeds. (Detail of frame from 'Claymore the Series', episode 1, "Great Sword".)

“Most girls do not really understand how horny guys are, how much stronger guys are, how guys will rationalise what they do.”

Anonymous

Be as horrified as you feel appropriate:

It is, of course, uncommon for people, mostly men, who take advantage of passed out roommates or routinely anally rape their wives to come out and give a no-holds-barred account of what they know to be a horrific act.

So when a reddit thread began in 2012 asking perpetrator of sexual assault to tell “their side of the story” — attracting more than a thousand responses — researchers pounced on the opportunity.

It’s the first time the viral social media site has been used as the basis for an academic study, and the results are as fascinating as they are disturbing.

The result, to the one, is about as morbid as we might expect; to the other, neither is it unfamiliar. This is what a rapist says:

The same respondent, who admitted to raping a woman while “extremely horny”, even after she “realised what was happening and tried to clamp her legs shut”, disturbingly describes how he plans to educate his own daughter about the dangers of men’s uncontrollable sexuality.

“When my daughter is old enough, I’m going to have a very frank conversation on male-female relations of the sort that I do not think most girls get,” he wrote.

“Most girls do not really understand how horny guys are, how much stronger guys are, how guys will rationalise what they do.”

And it is not, by any measure, unfamiliar. Chicken or egg; art and life. Liz Burke notes that researchers “found the motivations the responses illustrated were consistent with what is commonly described as ‘rape culture'”; we ought not be surprised. The rapist is, after all, the living manifestation of rape culture.

Unsurprising, to be certain, but how can that familiarity not be unsettling?

____________________

Burke, Liz. “Victim-blaming, hormones and objectification: Reddit-based study reveals why men rape”. News.com.au. 22 January 2016.