Women Genuinely Like Flowers | The Effect Of Flowers To Women’s Emotions

Q: Society and media seem to try to convince everyone that men should give women flowers if they’re trying to show affection.

But is that just media-driven fake news in an age of alternative facts? Should I try to come up with some other random gift, like a candle, to show that I’m creative or unconventional?

A: No, dummy.

In the latest issue of the Journal of “No Duh” Science for Idiots*, it was shown that women genuinely like getting flowers, it increases their happiness literally for days, and flowers even result in cognitive improvements in elderly populations.

Furthermore, flowers seem to have special effects that other gifts don’t have. Just buy the dang flowers.

INTRODUCTION

Flowers serve no purpose for humans. At least, that’s the logical conclusion – you can’t eat them and they’re not particularly useful as resources. Some have medicinal value but not most of the popularly-cultivated varieties.

Yet, humans have spent thousands of years cultivating flowers for no purpose other than aesthetics and fragrance.

However, one evolutionary theory suggests that some aesthetic things, like cultivating flowers, are beneficial only because of the positive emotions they generate.

In other words, people were more likely to survive if they stopped to smell the roses – to enjoy the beautiful things in life. This causes positive emotions and those are beneficial to humans in survival.

Additionally, it could be a strategy for the flowers as well. More beautiful flowers are more likely to be cultivated by humans, thus increasing their survival strategy as well!

Some researchers sought to test what exactly the effects of flowers in human behavior might be, and the results were published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology in 2005.

STUDY 1

The researchers first sought to see the effect of giving women flowers. Does it result in genuine happiness, or fake/feigned happiness?

To determine the genuineness of happiness, the researchers explained the difference of various smiles.

“Duchenne smiles” (named after their discoverer, Guillame Duchenne in the mid-1800s) are a type of smile that has been identified in research as a genuine indicator of happiness. It occurs in infants, kids, and adults. It’s characterized by contraction of both the zygomatic major muscle and the orbicularis oculi muscle.

  • In plain language, it’s a smile that raises the corners of the mouth, raises the cheeks, AND creates crow’s feet in the eyes. It’s a broad, whole-face smile.
  • Non-Duchenne smiles involve only the mouth muscles.

Duchenne smiles seem to be almost hard-wired into human behavior and indicate reciprocal happiness and prosocial behavior.

They were pre-interviewed on various personality traits and demographic characteristics.

147 adult women were recruited in New Jersey and selected for facial expressiveness and broader ranges of emotional responses.

The researchers then went to the Society of American Florists and, after consultation, carefully selected a mixed-flower bouquet that has a variety of colors and odors and is maximally effective in eliciting happiness (as far as they could tell).

They also found some other common gift items:

  • A fruit/candy basket
  • A large, multi-wicked, fragrant candle
  • The participants were told that they would be part of an experiment and that the necessary items for the experiment would be delivered at their home.
  • When the items were delivered, the gift (either a bouquet, the sweets basket, or the candle) was presented to the participant, and a second observer rated the participant’s smile.
  • Then the participant answered a variety of mood and other questions.
  • Three days later, the participant was interviewed again with open-ended questions to determine the effects of the gift.

NONE of the presenters, observers, or interviewers were aware of the purpose of the experiment (so they weren’t biased to see things that weren’t there).

RESULTS:

How many of the participants responded to the flowers with a genuine, Duchenne smile? ONE HUNDRED PERCENT.

An effect doesn’t get stronger than this, folks.

The sweets basket had a 90% success rate and the candle had a 77% success rate.close

Also, this shifted according to age: older people liked the fruit baskets more, and younger people smiled more in general.

In the second interview, only those women in the flower group experienced an increase in positive emotions after 3 days.

Part of the reason for the difference may be that the participants were able to display the flowers in a communal space such as the living room or a dining room, thus boosting their effects over multiple days.

Candles were more likely to be placed in private areas, and sweets baskets disappeared as their contents were consumed.

STUDY 2

Does this effect extend to both men and women?

The researchers sought to replicate the experiment in a different way – in a public elevator.

Some assistants were assigned to stand in a university elevator and wait for an individual to enter by themselves. Randomly, one assistant was instructed to do one of four things:

Present the person with a single daisy out of a basket of flowers. The basket had a sign on it that said “Free Flowers/Gift! The Society of American Florists Supports of Random Act of Kindness Day! People will be receiving flowers/gifts at random, on the elevator. You can pass on the kindness!”

Hold the basket of flowers but don’t give the person one.

Present the person with a ballpoint pen with the university logo on it out of a basket (this basket didn’t mention the Society of American Florists).

Do nothing.

Then, the individual’s response was measured and noted by the second assistant.

122 individuals were recorded for this study (around half male/female).

RESULTS:

The individuals who received flowers exhibited the highest levels of positive social responses (remarks, gestures, facial expressions) of any group.

This was the case for both men and women, but women especially.

In fact, women who were given a flower showed the highest positive social ratings of any other group in any condition.

Unsurprisingly, people who saw the basket but weren’t offered a flower had the most negative response.

STUDY 3

This study replicated these results in a retirement home among seniors.

113 seniors in a retirement home had an interview about their mood and general characteristics. In that interview, they were given either a:

Mixed flower bouquet, like the one in Study 1

A monochromatic yellow bouquet

Or no flowers at all.

A follow-up interview was conducted 2-3 days later.

Some seniors got a second bouquet in the second interview.

Notably, the interviews also included measurements of cognitive ability – specifically, what details about the flowers and general events of the study they could remember. This was a measurement of memory.

RESULTS:

Once again, it was shown that the flowers increased positive mood for the seniors.

Receiving the flowers the second time got a boost in their scores for happiness (lower levels of depressive symptoms).

Notably, those who received flowers had better memories of the event – the flowers seemed to boost their cognitive skills.

CONCLUSION/INTERPRETATION

What can we learn here?

The flowers effect isn’t a myth. Women love flowers. It’s a genuine reaction, it may have evolutionary roots, and flowers seem to be better than some other common gifts in eliciting this response.

But that’s not all – this effect works for both men and women, AND seniors.

For seniors, the flowers even gave them a boost in their cognitive skills – specifically, episodic memory.

Market wants ‘decisive action’ so Turkey needs to raise rates

Speaking at an event marking his country’s independence from Japanese rule, Moon said such a “community” could eventually herald the launch of a “multilateral security system” in the region, according to the report.

“This community will lead to an energy bloc and economic bloc in Northeast Asia by expanding our economic area to the northern continent and becoming the foundation of co-existence and prosperity in Northeast Asia,” Moon projected, according to Yonhap.

The president’s administration will seek to link railways and roads with the North before year-end, Yonhap said.

The initiative is one of many efforts that Seoul is undertaking to strengthen peace in Northeast Asia following June’s milestone U.S.-North Korea summit. Since then, the reclusive regime has dismantled some missile engine testing facilities, but many question leader Kim Jong Un’s willingness to deliver on the denuclearization promise he made to President Donald Trump.

Moon also called for broad energy and economic cooperation with the North on Wednesday, stressing his goal to politically unify both countries. “True liberation” will only be achieved when the two neighbors establish a lasting peace and economic relations, the head of state was quoted as saying.

China could reportedly use its ‘unwritten’ tech rules as an ‘invisible tool’ against US firms

With Sino-American trade tensions escalating, China’s cybersecurity standards could be used as an “invisible tool” for retaliating against Washington’s tariffs, according to one expert.
Such standards are government-issued operational guidelines that are technically voluntary, but are oftentimes treated as mandatory by foreign firms’ Chinese business partners.
If Asia’s largest economy were to weaponize the listing of standardized practices to hit American companies, the cost would be difficult to quantify, but the move’s effects on foreign firms could outlive current tensions, according a report from a Washington-based think tank.

With Sino-American trade tensions escalating, China’s cybersecurity standards could be used as an “invisible tool” for retaliating against Washington’s tariffs, according to one expert.
Such standards are government-issued operational guidelines that are technically voluntary, but are oftentimes treated as mandatory by foreign firms’ Chinese business partners.
If Asia’s largest economy were to weaponize the listing of standardized practices to hit American companies, the cost would be difficult to quantify, but the move’s effects on foreign firms could outlive current tensions, according a report from a Washington-based think tank.

With Sino-American trade tensions escalating, China’s cybersecurity standards could be used as an “invisible tool” for retaliating against Washington’s tariffs, according to one expert.
Such standards are government-issued operational guidelines that are technically voluntary, but are oftentimes treated as mandatory by foreign firms’ Chinese business partners.
If Asia’s largest economy were to weaponize the listing of standardized practices to hit American companies, the cost would be difficult to quantify, but the move’s effects on foreign firms could outlive current tensions, according a report from a Washington-based think tank.

With Sino-American trade tensions escalating, China’s cybersecurity standards could be used as an “invisible tool” for retaliating against Washington’s tariffs, according to one expert.
Such standards are government-issued operational guidelines that are technically voluntary, but are oftentimes treated as mandatory by foreign firms’ Chinese business partners.
If Asia’s largest economy were to weaponize the listing of standardized practices to hit American companies, the cost would be difficult to quantify, but the move’s effects on foreign firms could outlive current tensions, according a report from a Washington-based think tank.

With Sino-American trade tensions escalating, China’s cybersecurity standards could be used as an “invisible tool” for retaliating against Washington’s tariffs, according to one expert.
Such standards are government-issued operational guidelines that are technically voluntary, but are oftentimes treated as mandatory by foreign firms’ Chinese business partners.
If Asia’s largest economy were to weaponize the listing of standardized practices to hit American companies, the cost would be difficult to quantify, but the move’s effects on foreign firms could outlive current tensions, according a report from a Washington-based think tank.

With Sino-American trade tensions escalating, China’s cybersecurity standards could be used as an “invisible tool” for retaliating against Washington’s tariffs, according to one expert.
Such standards are government-issued operational guidelines that are technically voluntary, but are oftentimes treated as mandatory by foreign firms’ Chinese business partners.
If Asia’s largest economy were to weaponize the listing of standardized practices to hit American companies, the cost would be difficult to quantify, but the move’s effects on foreign firms could outlive current tensions, according a report from a Washington-based think tank.

European stocks open slightly higher as Turkey crisis weighs on sentiment

Shares in Europe open slightly higher Wednesday as concerns over the Turkish currency crisis continue to affect investors’ appetite. However, trading flows were also sluggish as a number of European bourses are closed due to a public holiday, including Italy, Greece and Austria.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was up by 0.18 percent with most sectors trading in positive territory.

In Asian trading was mostly lower, failing to follow the positive beat on the Wall Street. Investors remain wary of potential economic spill overs from Turkey, where a spat with the United States and certain economic policies have led to a sharp fall in the value of its currency. The lira was down about 2 percent against the dollar and the euro at about 6.20 a.m. London time.

In other news, China has argued that the solar tariffs introduced by the United States on Beijing earlier this year violate trade rules and has issued a complaint at the World Trade Organization.

Meanwhile, in the corporate world, Royal Bank of Scotland has announced that it will pay $4.9 billion to settle a U.S. investigation into misconduct between 2005 and 2008. Air France-KLM is to appoint Air Canada’s chief operating officer Benjamin Smith as its new boss on Thursday, according to local newspaper Liberation.

On the earnings front, Vestas Wind and Balfour Beatty are due to announce their latest results.

In the U.K., there will be core inflation numbers out at 9.30 a.m. London time.

Market wants ‘decisive action’ so Turkey needs to raise rates: Yale economist Stephen Roach

Turkey’s central bank needs to raise interest rates to contain the country’s financial crisis, veteran economist Stephen Roach told CNBC on Monday.

Earlier in the day, Turkish lira dropped to a new all-time low of 7.24 against the U.S. dollar. It later pared some of those losses to trade around 6.99.

“The markets clearly want much more decisive action,” said Roach, former chairman of Morgan Stanley’s operations in Asia.

However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “is not about to do that both in terms of policy as well as rhetoric,” he said on “Power Lunch.”

Roach, now a senior fellow at Yale University, believes what Turkey needs is “a really large and strong monetary tightening.”

Last week, the economic crisis engulfing Turkey deepened after President Donald Trump said he was doubling metal tariffs on the country. His remarks came after Erdogan asked citizens to convert their dollars and other foreign currencies and gold to lira.

After Trump’s comments, the lira briefly plunged 20 percent against the greenback on Friday, finishing the session lower by about 16 percent. On Monday, Turkey’s central bank tried to ease fears by saying it will provide needed liquidity to the country’s banks.

Roach said what’s most worrisome is not the cumulative decline in the currency but the speed of the fall.

“When you see an accelerating downfall like this met with largely incremental actions by the central bank, then you have to worry about where this is going with respect to Turkey,” he said.

Turkey’s inflation rate reached 16 percent last month, well above the central bank’s 5 percent target. While central banks generally hike rates to control inflation, Erdogan has opted to keep rates low in an effort to drive growth.

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