Why Time Slows Down When You Walk Into Victoria's Secret

victoria's secret

Photo: jm3 at www.flickr.com

A new study shows that sexual arousal determines perception of time as well as desire.Here’s the abstract from USC Marshall School of Business Assistant Professor of Marketing Kyu Kim and Gal Zauberman, associate professor of marketing at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania:

Sexual cues influence decisions not only about sex, but also about unrelated outcomes such as money. Previous research has emphasised the power of sexual cues to induce a strong general psychological desire to obtain all available rewards. In the case of money, that motivated appetite would enhance the perceived value of immediate monetary rewards. We propose a different psychological mechanism to explain this effect: the induction of impatience by sexual cues through their ability to lengthen the perceived temporal distance to delayed rewards. That is, sexual cues make the wait seem subjectively longer, resulting in greater impatience for the delayed monetary reward. Our findings support this mechanism, demonstrating that “hot” cues can work through a “cold” cognitive process to shape intertemporal preferences.

This theory was tested by several experiments, including one that showed “hot” pictures of Victoria’s Secret models to one group of heterosexual men an “neutral” pictures to another group.

A subsequent test shows that the aroused men at a protracted sense of time, with future dates seeming abnormally distant.

Kim and Zauberman offer another reason why sex is an effective marketing tool, in addition to the standard theory that sex (1) gets attention and (2) makes people want what will make them desirable.

Don’t miss: 48 psychological facts you should know about yourself >

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.