The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 220: Laws of Attraction

Premier Date: August 7, 2014

A person’s intelligence deteriorates in the presence of members of the opposite gender.


Adam designed a test in which the subject would have to identify the colors of words on a screen as quickly as possible, while Jamie built a testing room on a commercial film stage. Five men and five women took the test twice, first with a member of the same gender sitting nearby in the room as a control run, then with a member of the opposite gender.

On their first run, the men achieved an average of 56.8 seconds, while the women averaged 50.2. However, the second run gave an average of 46.8 seconds for both groups, indicating an overall improvement in performance and leading Adam and Jamie to call the myth busted.

Men are more strongly attracted to blonde women than those of other hair colors.


Adam and Jamie set up a speed-dating scenario in which 9 men spoke to each of 9 women for 3 minutes, then rated them on a numerical scale. The test was repeated three times, with a different group of men each time; the women used wigs to pass themselves off as blondes, brunettes, or redheads, changing them after each test so that every woman had all three hair colors. Adam and Jamie found no significant differences among the groups in any test, so they called the myth busted.

Pheromone sprays can increase a person’s attractiveness to the opposite gender.


Adam built a turntable with 10 airtight chambers, each holding a T-shirt treated with some combination of pheromone and/or sweat from either Adam or Jamie. A clean, unused shirt was also included as a control. One at a time, 50 women smelled every shirt and then voted for their favorite scent of the group. The shirt bearing both the pheromones and Adam’s sweat proved the most popular, with 38% of the votes, but others either expressed a strong dislike of that smell or chose the control shirt. As a result, Adam and Jamie declared the myth busted.

In the service industry, women with larger breasts tend to receive higher tips.


Kari volunteered to work in a coffee shop, disguising her appearance with a wig and makeup and using three different bust sizes: “small” (taped down to achieve a reduction of two cup sizes), “medium” (no alteration), and “large” (DDD size). Grant and Tory watched her through hidden cameras and gave her a tip jar rigged to separate tips given by men from those given by women.

They focused on the tips Kari collected from the first 80 male customers on each shift. During the “small” and “medium” shifts, she collected $72 in tips, while the “large” shift yielded $98, with both men and women tipping almost 40% more. The team classified the myth as confirmed.

Women are more attracted to financially successful men.


The Build Team invited a group of 250 women to the a theater in San Francisco and showed them pictures of 12 men, with names, locations, and actual occupations. The women rated each man on a scale of 1 to 10, after which the team presented the same pictures again, but with more lucrative occupations shown for half of the men. In the first test, the men earned an average rating of 56 out of 120, while the men with changed occupations earned 68 out of 120 in the second.