Romantic language of and about science

Savor the romance, if you will (or don’t, if you won’t) in the wording of this press release from Patricia Donovan of the University of Buffalo (UB):

Lead author Lora E. Park [pictured here], PhD, UB associate professor of psychology and her co-authors, found converging support for the idea that when romantic goals are activated, either by environmental cues or personal choice, women — but not men — show less interest in STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] and more interest in feminine fields, such as the arts, languages and English.


1. The press release has the headline “Women’s quest for romance conflicts with scientific pursuits, study finds”. Does reading that headline activate your romantic goals?

2. Does hearing the phrase “romantic goals are activated” activate your romantic goals?

3. If your romantic goals are already activated (perhaps having been activated in the manner described in Questions 1 and 2), does hearing the phrase “romantic goals are activated” inactivate them?