Did you fail all your history tests in high school because you couldn’t remember anything you read? Ever told yourself you’ll recall that phone number but when you tried to dial one second later, it slipped your mind? Have you ever, ever taken your birth control on time? Hm. Maybe you need to start taking fleeting glances at hot people. Science says it could help.
A new study in the journal Evolutionary Psychology found that young adults who had briefly gazed at an attractive member of the opposite sex performed better on memory tests, apparently because it reminded them that they might actually have to impress a potential mate. Michael Baker, an East Carolina University psychologist who was part of the study’s research team, explained to Pacific Standard, “Although intuition might suggest that exposure to highly attractive people would be distracting and would impair cognitive performance, mating goals might lead people to display desirable mental traits.” Everyone knows that there is nothing sexier than a steel-trap memory.
But as the popular dating advice goes, you may look, but do not ever, ever talk to those you’re interested in. Prior research found that when men were forced to even consider the possibility of engaging with an attractive woman, it preemptively impeded their mental acuity. Ha-ha, men. Ha-ha.