Study Explains the George Clooney Effect

July 11, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. single / ˈsɪŋ gəl / (n.) – a person who is not married
Example There’s a website for singles who want to look for a potential partner.

2. willing / ˈwɪl ɪŋ / (adj.) – agreeing to do something
Example: Ben is willing to date an older woman.

3. correlation / ˌkɔr əˈleɪ ʃən / (n.) – a relationship between two things that change at the same time
Example: I want to know if there’s a correlation between financial success and happiness.

4. preference / ˈprɛf ər əns / (n.) – the feeling of desiring one thing over the other
Example: Maria’s preference in men has always been the same.

5. confident / ˈkɒn fɪ dənt / (adj.) – being sure that you can succeed or do something well
Example Richard is confident that he will make Monica happy.


Read the text below.
A psychologist says that the “Clooney Effect” explains why some men tend to marry women who are independent and self-reliant.

This phenomenon was based on Helen Fisher’s study about what 5,600 singles look for in a potential partner. It was named after the 54-year-old celebrity George Clooney, who married the 37-year-old successful lawyer Amal Alamuddin [AH-muh l al-uh-MOO-deen].

According to Fisher’s study, modern marriage is now more of an intellectual and personal partnership. This means that men are more willing to have a romantic relationship with smarter women. In fact, majority of the surveyed men prefer women who are superior to them. The study found that 87% of the men would look for a woman who earns more, is more intelligent, and is more educated.

Women, on another note, now prefer men who are just as successful as they are. According to the study, 86% of the surveyed women look for men with the same intellectual level as theirs.

A 2010 study from the University of Abertay Dundee [AH-ber-tey duhn-DEE] also explains why young, successful women like Alamuddin get attracted to older men. This study found a correlation between women becoming more financially independent and their preference for men who are older and better-looking.

Through an online survey involving 3,770 heterosexual Britons, researchers found that women who were financially successful preferred older and attractive men. This may imply that as women become more financially independent, they become more confident in choosing partners who are older and powerful.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree with the George Clooney effect? Why or why not?
·         Is financial success really important in looking for a partner? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Do you agree with the saying “age doesn’t matter”? Why is that so?
·         How do you think a couple’s relationship can be strengthened?

July 11, 2015