A study of 896 heterosexuals that was published in the APA Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, found that when females succeeded in the field that their male partner had failed in, the latter subconsciously had the lowest levels of self-esteem.
On the contrary, a woman’s self-esteem was not affected when her partner did well in his field and in fact, they were more satisfied with their relationship at such a time.
The lead author of University of Florida, Kate Ratliff, said that a man feels threatened when his girlfriend tends to outperform him in something that they are doing together such as losing weight. The study now has evidence to prove that men tend to take their partner’s success as their own failure even when they are not directly in competition.
To extract similar results, an experiment was carried out in The Netherlands as well as in the University of Virginia where couples were given a particular problem solving test and told that their partner were either in the top or bottom 12 per cent of all the University students.
It was found that though the participants did not admit to their fluctuating self-esteem, when a test of their subconscious reaction was done, it was found that men were more likely to link themselves to the words dreadful or bad after finding out that their partner had scored in the top 12 per cent.
In the last two experiments that was conducted online, 657 American participants were told to recall a time when their partner had succeeded or failed. The results revealed that it did not matter if the achievements or failures were intellectual or social, men did subconsciously feel worse about themselves when their partner had succeeded in something that they had failed.
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