If your Magic 8 Ball is a less-than-reliable dating guide, then author Andrew Trees has a better idea: Why not turn to the latest studies in economics, neurochemistry and game theory instead? We chatted with him about his latest book, Decoding Love: Why It Takes Twelve Frogs to Find a Prince and Other Revelations from the Science of Attraction.
Em & Lo: What’s your favorite scientific tidbit you gleaned from this book, the one you were most likely to break out at cocktail parties? Andrew Trees:
I loved telling people about how testicle size in a species is an indicator of female promiscuity, and how men have relatively big testicles — in other words, women have been getting busy for quite some time.
Can you give us an example of how understanding economic theories can work to your advantage in the dating world?
There are all sorts of ways in which economists can put dollar figures on various aspects of dating. Height is the most obvious example. Researchers discovered that a 5’6″ man has to earn $175,000 a year more than a six foot tall man if he wants to overcome his height disadvantage in the dating market. That’s a hefty premium. If you are a 5’4″ woman, why not wear flats and try dating a shorter man? And if you are a short guy, buy some lifts.