Commenter Pill (aka Philosopher) lacks social IQ. He thinks that bashing another guy’s head with a beer bottle impresses women (seriously).

When he first said this years ago, I told him that such behavior would actually scare women, and former commenter Afro (who I disagreed with on many topics), but who was quite experienced with women, concurred.

But because of low social IQ, Pill simply ignored our advice, thinking he knew better.

So I decided to do a bit of research and found a study where male students from the University of South Florida were asked to estimate how aggressively the ideal man (as judged by women) would react to different scenarios.

Participants completed questionnaires alone or in small groups. The first part of this questionnaire asked participants to read three scenarios involving interpersonal conflicts between men, intended to present a variety of conflicts. In the version of the questionnaire given to men, participants were asked to imagine themselves as the victims in the confrontations. In the female version, women were asked to imagine themselves as observers of the altercations between the men. This allowed us to compare how men thought women would react to male aggression with women’s actual reactions. In the first scenario, a man gets bumped at a party and the man who bumps him calls him an ‘‘asshole.” In the second scenario a man and his girlfriend are repeatedly harassed while attending a
football game (female respondents were asked to imagine themselves as the girlfriend in this scenario). The third scenario described a couple at a mall food court whose seats are stolen, who
then get insulted when they try to reclaim them (women were again asked to imagine themselves as the girlfriend).

Following each scenario, men were asked … what a woman would think the ideal man should do.
For each question, respondents chose one of six behavioral responses that ranged from non-aggressive to progressively more aggressive: … 1.21 = Walk away without responding/Ignore it,
1.79 = Laugh it off, 3.79 = Make a verbal retort, 4.43 = Get in the guy’s
face without making physical contact, 5.04 = Push the guy,
6.00 = Punch the guy

men predicted that women would like more aggressive responses than women themselves reported preferring (men’s guesses about women = 3.47 [1.01]…women’s own responses = 2.65

Notice that punching the guy is a level 6 on the aggression scale, but pill thinks the most attractive response is smashing a guy’s head in with beer bottle which would be like a level 8. So Pill’s estimate is 4.49 SD higher than the average man’s which is already too high. But because university of South Florida men are likely somewhat above average in social intelligence, the true figure might be 4 SD on a more representative sample.

Of course there’s a lot more to social intelligence than judging appropriate levels of aggression so it’s unlikely that Pill’s overall social IQ is anywhere near as low as this study suggests.

It’s also unlikely Pill will be convinced his answer is wrong and instead will think a woman’s true response to male aggression can’t be measured by such an artificial study involving hypothetical scenarios. Indeed he will likely rationalize by thinking the study itself, and those of us who cite it, are socially unintelligent.