A lot of people will tell you that intelligence will be one of the most important things that men tend to look for in women – and a lot of men would even agree. A lot of men will come up and say that they would love to be in relationships with women who are really smart. But the moment you decide to put him in the presence of an actual smart woman, studies actually show that he is likely to feel uncomfortable.

A recent study was conducted to look into the real things that men feel whenever they’re around smart women. The study says that our preferences can typically change depending on psychological distance. Whenever we try to analyze a person who we feel is psychologically distant from us, we tend to devote a bulk of our attention to how attractive a person’s traits might be.

We tend to always prefer the people who have better traits and characteristics than our own. But that’s only what tends to happen when there is some distance between two people. Things become entirely different when people get near one another.

Whenever you get near a person, your perceptions of that individual might change dramatically. Whenever you are directly around a person, the way that you perceive that individual is going to be completely dependent on how their traits are going to make you feel about yourself. Therefore, it’s a completely different dynamic whenever you’re assessing your attraction towards a person when distance changes as well.

To further expound on this aspect of the study, let’s focus on how men, in particular, reacted whenever they were surrounded by a specific type of woman. The research concluded that men are more attracted to intelligent women when they are analyzing them from a distance. However, the perceptions they have of their women change whenever they are in the immediate presence of these women. Men don’t necessarily have positive reactions whenever they are around women who they believe to be more intelligent than they are.

This research is a consolidation of six different studies that span over 650 different male subjects. Based on the professional assessment of the author, Dr. Lora Park, men who interacted with women with the physical distance between them tended to have positive reactions to those who they perceived to be smarter than them. Men typically became more attracted toward women who they knew would outperform them as far as intelligence is concerned. However, the moment that these men were made to interact with these women face to face, they had completely different reactions and responses. They became less and less interested in the women when they discovered that they wouldn’t be able to outperform these women in terms of intellect and knowledge.

Based on the professional expertise of Dr. Park, men experience a kind of momentary shift in their self-evaluation. To put it simply, she suggests that men feel some kind of emasculation whenever they are around women who are smarter than them. They feel more threatened than they are attracted.

It turns out that, however, we perceive a person can change whenever we come into close contact with people who possess certain traits that force us to reexamine our own lives. But this is most especially true when it comes to intelligence. However, it doesn’t really matter much to men when they don’t really think much of their intelligence, to begin with. Men who aren’t insecure about their intelligence won’t typically be affected whenever they’re interacting with women who are smarter than they are.

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