Sexual arousal and decision making

Interesting study by Ariely and Loewenstein (2006) [The Heat of the Moment: The Effect of Sexual Arousal on Sexual Decision Making. J. Behav. Dec. Making, 19, 87–98]. From the abstract:

Despite the social importance of decisions taken in the “heat of the moment,” very little research has examined the effect of sexual arousal on judgment and decision making. Here we examine the effect of sexual arousal, induced by self-stimulation, on judgments and hypothetical decisions made by male college students. Students were assigned to be in either a state of sexual arousal or a neutral state and were asked to: (1) indicate how appealing they find a wide range of sexual stimuli and activities, (2) report their willingness to engage in morally questionable behavior in order to obtain sexual gratification, and (3) describe their willingness to engage in unsafe sex when sexually aroused. The results show that sexual arousal had a strong impact on all three areas of judgment and decision making, demonstrating the importance of situational forces on preferences, as well as subjects’ inability to predict these influences on their own behavior.

[Hat tip: Deborah Frisch on the Society for Judgment and Decision Making mailing list]