Journal of Consumer Psychology vol:24 issue:3 pages:387-393
We argue that women's previously documented unresponsiveness to sexual primes when making economic decisions may be a consequence of the specific types of primes that have been used (i.e., visual primes). In three studies we show that presenting women with tactile sexual cues does influence their decisions about economic rewards. Similar to the effect found in men, the first study demonstrates that touching a pair of boxer shorts leads to a craving for monetary rewards in women. In the second study it is shown that touching a pair of boxers makes women less loss averse for both money and food. The third study explicitly focuses on the relative effectiveness of tactile versus visual sexual cues in altering women's economic decisions, and reveals that women's willingness-to-pay for economic rewards increases only when the sexual cue is tactile. We suggest that touching (vs. seeing) sexually laden stimuli prompts pre-programmed consummatory Pavlovian responses that promote approaching economic rewards.