NEW DELHI: According to common belief it is assumed that a man, homo sapiens as he is, prefers the ame in an ideal female counterpart, that is, intelligence. But a new study published in the November edition of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin claims otherwise.

According to the study it is revealed that men, though, show an inclination towards the idea of dating brainy women, when the prospect becomes more concrete they tend to retreat. The study which was conducted at University of Buffalo, California Lutheran University and University of Texas, Austin, was conducted in a two step experiment.

In the first leg, 105 men were asked to rank women, who had either outperformed or underperformed them in Math and English, as possible partners. It turned out that women who happened to have outperformed men, hypothetically, were considered prospect partners more often than ones who had underperformed. So, it follows so far that men prefer the ‘idea’ of dating brainy women over mere beauty.

In the second leg, men were asked to complete an intelligence test and were told that they were going to meet women who have outperformed or underperformed them. The group of men who were told that they were going to be meeting someone who was more intelligent them, "distanced themselves more from her, tended to rate her as less attractive, and showed less desire to exchange contact information or plan a date with her”, the study found.

It was concluded by the study that that, “feelings of diminished masculinity accounted for men’s decreased attraction toward women who outperformed them.”

This latest study negates a previous study which found that men appreciate brains over beauty. Evolutionary biologist David Bainbridge claimed in his study earlier, that men find intelligent women more suitable as they consider them to be an able future wife and a considerate parent. His study ranked brains over beauty saying that, “Surveys have shown time and time again that this is the first thing that men look for. It shows that she will be able to look after his children and that her parents were probably intelligent as well, suggesting that she was brought up well."