June 12, 2008

On Bikinis, Popcorn, and the Stock Market

In one of the Seinfeld (absolutely my most favorite sitcom) episodes, George discovers that the gratification he derives from food and sex are mutually reinforcing. In mathematical terms: P = f(F,S); d2P/dFdS > 0. Sorry, couldn't resist the temptation of writing it down in a mathematical form; it has been such a looo...ong time! Well, to cut the long story short, George makes it a habit to stow away a sandwich every time he gets under the covers with his girlfriend.

Mallika Sherawat

Now, a team of researchers led by Bram Van Den Bergh of Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, may have some evidence to support George's theory. LiveScience reports:

Bikinis and other sexy stimuli can make men more prone to seek immediate gratification — leading to blown diets, budgets and bank accounts, new research suggests.

In the study, detailed in the Journal of Consumer Research, men alternately fondled t-shirts and bras (which were not being worn during the test). After touching the bras, men valued the future less and the present more, said lead researcher Bram Van Den Bergh of Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium. Viewing ads with women in bikinis had the same effect.

Briers and his team theorize that unfulfilled sexual arousal may trigger a primal fear for one's reproductive status, driving men to seek quick payoffs through anything pleasurable. Ever wondered why insecure men watching the Bollywood sex symbol, Mallika Sherawat, performing an item dance on the big screen, reach for the bucket of popcorn by their side?

Van Den Bergh goes on to warn, "being exposed to a sexy girl may influence what stock you invest in or what candy bar you buy." To stimulate some reckless buying in these days of depressed stock market in India and the US, the exchanges should perhaps try screening Mallika Sherawat's item dances prior to the market opening. Or better still, get Mallika — in bikinis, of course — to ring the opening bell everyday!

  1. I am not too concerned about what mallika's bikinis do to the market or world popcorn supply but you really scared me with that thing in the second sentence:
    P = f(F,S); d2P/dFdS > 0.
    Why was that necessary? I am still shivering.
    don't EVER do that ok!

  2. @Usha:
    P = f(F,S); d2P/dFdS > 0.
    Why was that necessary? ? I am still shivering.

    To me, math, especially calculus... ooo...ooh, so sweet! Blame it on the Mallika Sherawat poster ;)

  3. Hehe....does the sight of Ms.M.S make you reach for the nearest calculus book!!
    You make it seem like erotica - of all the weird things I've heard...
    *shaking head*

  4. AHA!
    So Mallika is the real reason why I am losing focus of the future and spending all my hard-earned money (we still, for some weird reason, call the rupee money) on stock market losses. Anything I touch turns to loss...
    Women, I tell you!

  5. doc:
    Stick to your knittings, and put your medical expertise to use - make sure that your s-o has no more headaches ;)


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