Executive Sweet – The Science of Distraction


Executive Sweet is based on the assumption that women distract men, making them less able to think clearly. Dan even suggests, toward the end of the book, that this isn’t just a feeling, it’s proven science. Is he making it up? No!

  • Men’s memory is affected by attractive women
    See: “Men’s Memory for Women’s Sexual-interest and Rejection Cues”, by Teresa A. Treat, Richard J. Viken, John K. Kruschke and Richard M. McFall, Applied Cognitive Psychology 25, p802–810 (2011).
  • Men can’t think straight in the presence of women
    See: “Interacting With Women Can Impair Men’s Cognitive Functioning”, by Johan C. Karremans, Thijs Verwijmeren, Tila M. Pronk, and Meyke Reitsma, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 45, p1041–1044 (2009).
    See also: “The Mere Anticipation of an Interaction with a Woman Can Impair Men’s Cognitive Performance”, by Sanne Nauts, Martin Metzmacher, Thijs Verwijmeren, Vera Rommeswinkel, and Johan C. Karremans, Archives of Sexual Behavior 41, p1051–1056 (2012).
  • Men take more risks in the presence of women
    See: “The Presence of an Attractive Woman Elevates Testosterone and Physical Risk Taking in Young Men”, by Richard Ronay and William von Hippel, Social Psychological and Personality Science 1(1), p57-64 (2010).
    See also: “Sex Differences in Everyday Risk-Taking Behavior in Humans”, by B. Pawlowski, Rajinder Atwal, and R.I.M. Dunbar, Evolutionary Psychology 6(1), p29-42 (2008).
    See also: “Uncommitted Men Match Their Risk Taking to Female Preferences, While Committed Men do the Opposite”, by Willem E. Frankenhuis and Johan C. Karremans, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 48, p428–431 (2012).
  • Men find exercise easier when women watch
    See: “Observer Effects on the Rating of Perceived Exertion and Affect During Exercise in Recreationally Active Males”, by Rachel Winchester, Louise A. Turner, Kevin Thomas, and Les Ansley, Perceptual & Motor Skills: Motor Skills & Ergonomics 115, 1, p213-227 (2012).
  • Flirting helps women during negotiation
    See: “Feminine Charm: An Experimental Analysis of its Costs and Benefits in Negotiations”, by Laura J. Kray, Connson C. Locke, and Alex B. Van Zant, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, p1–15 (2012).
  • Hourglass figures affect men like a drug
    See: “Optimal Waist-to-Hip Ratios in Women Activate Neural Reward Centers in Men”, by Steven M. Platek and Devendra Singh, PLoS ONE 5(2), e9042 (2010).
  • Men behave better around attractive women
    See: “Men behaving nicely: Public Goods as Peacock Tails”, by Mark Van Vugt and Wendy Iredale, The British Psychological Society 104, p3–13 (2013).
  • Men eat more when women are present
    See: “Impact of Group Settings and Gender on Meals Purchased by College Students”, by Molly Allen-O’Donnell, Marci D. Cottingham, Thomas C. Nowak and Kay A. Snyder, Journal of Applied Social Psychology 41, 9, p2268–2283 (2011).
  • Men’s eyes are different than women’s
    See: “Sex and Vision II: Color Appearance of Monochromatic Lights”, by Israel Abramov, James Gordon, Olga Feldman and Alla Chavarga, Biology of Sex Differences 3:21 (2012).

Know of any other research like this? Let me know and I’ll add it to the list.