Odd Man Hypothesis

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Syzygys, May 27, 2008.

  1. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    "The Odd Man Hypothesis states that unmarried men are capable of carrying out the best, most dispassionate decisions during crisis."

    Do you think it is true?
    Last edited: May 27, 2008
  2. skaught The field its covered in blood Valued Senior Member

    Without a doubt.
  3. skaught The field its covered in blood Valued Senior Member

    I think men are more logic based, while women are more emotional based. A man who is unattached to things is the most likely to make the most rational decisions.

    No doubt about it.
  4. D H Some other guy Valued Senior Member

    Pure fiction.
  5. skaught The field its covered in blood Valued Senior Member

    How so???
  6. D H Some other guy Valued Senior Member

  7. skaught The field its covered in blood Valued Senior Member

  8. madanthonywayne Mourning in America Staff Member

    I've not heard that hypothesis. But, if true, it might explain the benefit homosexuality confers upon the population. It helps insure there are always some of those "odd men" around free of that irrational female influence.:)
  9. CutsieMarie89 Zen Registered Senior Member

    I actually i heard women tend to be more rationally based than men and that's why they tend to be better managers in businesses (now this is what I've heard so don't ask me for citations or evidence). I think emotionality is just a stereotype that a lot of women feed into.
  10. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    No. Unmarried men are perhaps just more likely to make decisions selfishly rather than putting close relatives (e.g. spouse, children) first.
  11. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member


    It is certainly true that women run small businesses are more likely to survive than similar businesses run by men See here, but I don't know that that has been generalized into women being "better managers" overall.

    Men tend to take more in the way of risks when running a business and the competitive/aggressive style is less conducive to retaining employees. In bigger businesses, though, where employees are thinking of their work as "careers" and where the company has the resources needed to take the big risks (and potentially lose without closing up shop) it's not clear that the male style is worse. Presumably, with the big risks come larger payoffs, so many companies would prefer that at least some people be taking risks, and just trust that they have enough such managers that the downside will ultimately be diversified away.

    Similarly, though, do I think that single men make more rational decisions during a crisis? No. Absolutely not. Far from being "logical" we men are driven by our emotions, specifically aggression and ego, and they can be very subtle. Faced with a crisis, men are very likely to want to punch/fight/attack an opponent...sometimes even the wrong opponent. I've known men who can "cycle" from calm and collected, to "you wanna step outside and fight?" in under ten seconds.

    For the same reason men do not run undercapitalized small businesses well...a propensity to ignore the safe course and opt for the risky, but high payoff, decision, I doubt that our decisions can tend to be labeled "dispassionate."

    That's not to say that women and their conservative "cooperative" solutions are "better." It all depends on the context. I do believe that, in a crisis, their solutions are likely to be the generally safer ones. Presumably a married man would have his crazed macho decisions tempered by the presence of the woman in his life....which cannot be a bad thing. Perhaps it would be the people who have the benefit of both their "gut-level" response and the perspective of someone from the other gender who'd be the most "dispassionate," as at least they are more likely to consider alternatives to their own preferences
  12. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    Anybody else watching the miniseries of The Andromeda Strain? I think they did a good job with the remake.

    Now getting back to the subject, the author was maybe into something. When the task of nuking a city to avoid further casualties comes up, it is possible that the person with the less relatives makes the most cold headed decission...
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Most prophets and religious folks have emphasized the benefits of abandoning one's family, in remaining true to Great Spirit or whomever.

    That isn't necessarily a clue to rationality, though.

    My father's opinion, based on years of marriage counseling, was that in most cases a blue collar marriage ran better if the wife handled all the financial and household decisions. Men spend money like children - no common sense. Look at their major expenditures - the average car sold to a man is not much of an endorsement of that man's rationality.

    But there are other areas of rationality than financial prudence.
  14. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    It isn't the sex of the individual making decisions it is the mental stability, wisdom, understanding and common sense abilities that are much more important. Those abilities are found in women and men so woman can and do make very good decisions just as men do. :)
  15. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    Most posters missed the word CRISIS in the OP. Buying a car is not a crisis situation and usually neither running a family budget
  16. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

    Or maybe he nukes them all because that's what happens to be better for himself, personally. After all, he doesn't care about any of those people, but presumably he wants to survive the plague.

    If by level-headed decision making we mean "more likely to opt to kill" then I would suppose you are right.

    If we mean "most likely to make the decision that is in the best interest of humanity" (which would include the people in the plague zones), then I don't know that's true. That the people in the infected areas have loved ones and some innate right to live is not an irrelevant factor in the analysis....it's just one that points away from the "let God sort 'em out" solution.

    I see no reason to believe that men or women, married or unmarried would make that decision more or less dispassionately than anyone else. A woman with a family might opt to nuke the sick people too, if that prevents her own family from the risk of the disease.

    The only thing that is clear is that people with ties to the area being considered should not be the ones making the decision. If your friends or family live there, that's bad. If that was your hometown, bad. If your greatest nemesis lives there, that's bad too.
  17. D H Some other guy Valued Senior Member

    Syzygys, if you want to be true to the hypothesis, you should modify the OP yet again. The hypothesis applies to an extreme crisis such as war involving WMD.

    BTW, don't forget that this hypothesis is pure fiction. This is all in fun.

    Who can we rule out?

    Women, of course, are incapable of rational thought in a crisis. This has been proven in multiple studies by the RAND Corporation and others. We need a male.

    A young man will not be granted the authority to make key decisions in an extreme crisis. They have not yet had the chance to demonstrate the ability to command under duress and their brains are clouded with nasty hormones that tend to make them act a bit irrationally, particularly during crisis. So, a middle-aged male or older.

    Society tends to view something amiss with confirmed bachelors. We don't trust them as a rule and see the inability or lack of desire to find a soulmate as telling. We like our leaders to be married or to have been married. Whether or not this is valid should be the subject of yet another RAND study. Lacking such a study, I'll take society as the definitive source: No confirmed bachelors.

    Men are far too protective of their wives. Threatening the lives of a man's wife immediately shuts down the ability to think rationally. The only exception is a man in an unhappy marriage. He may well rub his hands with glee if a crisis threatens his wife's life. In either case, the man we want as the ultimate authority in an extreme crisis must not be married.

    Men are even more protective of their children. Threatening the lives of a man's children immediately shuts down the ability to think rationally. The man must be childless. In summary, we want a childless divorcee or a widower.

    Most conditions that cause sterility or infertility (e.g., XXY syndrome) have many other side effects, one of them being lack of coolness under fire. We are left with someone who is infertile in a way that doesn't impact the ability to command while under fire. Primary ciliary dyskinesia is one such cause, but it is exceedingly rare. There is one other possibility: Someone who had a vasectomy early on.

    The reason most men get a vasectomy early on is so they can have sex without consequences. Lots of sex. A man who has many sex partners is less likely to be emotionally attached to any one of them. Getting a vasectomy early on exhibits a degree of planning. Getting a vasectomy early on and getting divorced later on exhibits a lack of discretion. The widower, on the other hand, was a man who was able to fool around discretely. This exhibits a high degree of planning and coolness.

    Our man is a widower who had a vasectomy in his twenties. He had lots of girlfriends on the side. His wife might not have known, but the federal government can find them.
  18. Oli Heute der Enteteich... Registered Senior Member

    Actually no.
    Studies conducted indicated that women are less likely to go to war than men, but once they do they don't stop until the threat to their children (born or unborn) is totally removed.
    Men are capable of fighting for limited objectives, achieving them and then making peace: women far less so.
  19. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    I only modified a spelling mistake and bolded the word crisis. The crisis itself doesn't have to be nuclear...

    Anyway, the goal of the military would be to have an objective, cold headed soldier who follows orders and doesn't take into accounts emotions or other logically unrelated matters. in this regard the Russian guy who didn't push the buttons although the computers indicated an American nuclear attack was a bad soldier, because he overrode the system. Lucky for us...

    So yes, the definition is fictional, but that doesn't mean the military doesn't use something similar criterias when choosing personel for sensitive positions...
  20. D H Some other guy Valued Senior Member

    But it does have to be extreme crisis to keep in lines with the original RAND study, as authored by Crichton et al.

    That is why we need a man. Women are too timid but then overreact. Evidence: Kathleen Blanco (Katrina), Golda Meir (assassination of Black September).

    Tout your studies. Or invent them. Just make it look good if you do invent them.

    Since very few have paid attention, I will shout it out:


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