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  • Writer's picturePBMIF


"'Cause if you like/d it then you should have put a ring on it." Beyoncé made a valid point back in 2008.

Find PBMIF on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube for useful tips and facts in consumer and fashion psychology.

Lately, Psychology, But Make It Fashion's Instagram explore page has been covered in rings (not the doorbell...). I'm talking about engagement ring posts, wedding bands, fashion rings, jewellery ads where the models gaze at each other rather unnaturally, high-end luxury rings, manicure posts, those flower DIY rings with the beads... Lovely stuff.

One morning, while carrying out my 6AM, bleary eyed, daily social media scroll in bed (before I remember that I actually have to get up and go to work), I saw a flash sale ad for a jewellery brand, called Bohomoon, based in the UK. I'd been eyeing up a ring on their site for the past few months... and my birthday was basically around the corner (hello fellow Pisces/March-borns), so I decided to purchase the ring when I returned home later that day. The gold version of the ring was sold out so I went with the silver. I'm not into what colour jewellery suits me and colour analysis myself, but would you like an article on colour psychology and clothing? I'll add it to my to-do list for you. When we restrict ourselves within such guidelines of what colours we should and should maybe not wear, it, well... restricts us. With the many issues that we're facing around the world today, imagine being told that your favourite colour to wear doesn't suit you - How would that make you feel? (Sarcasm).

After receiving a couple of DMs over the past few weeks asking if I forgot the password to PBMIF, I thought I'd make a little post taking a little look into the psychology of rings. When we think of rings, we think of the accessory that people wear on their fingers. (Yes, people can wear rings on their toes too). Rings can express our style, inform people of our relationship status, status in society, culture, values, where we like to shop, and how we'd like to be seen. Above all other jewellery, rings are most commonly associated with sentimental value - eternity, marriage, a promise to the self, can be passed down through generations, solidify our relationships, be one-of-a-kind, and hold (happy) memories. Here's a few academic journal articles that you might find interesting.

Bohomoon Cheryl Ring - Silver
Oh yeah, we're talking about rings. So, here she is. She's called Cheryl. Cute isn't she?

What type of engagement ring do you prefer?

It's possible that women's preferences for engagement rings might be influenced by their perception of potential partners. Research carried out by Locke et al. (2020) suggests that when women believe they have a wider range of romantic options (mate abundance: many people that they'd think they can date), they tend to value larger and more expensive engagement rings. Why might this be the case though? This finding aligns with evolutionary psychology ideas about mate selection, where cues like ring size and cost might signal a man's commitment and ability to provide. This finding also highlights competition. Commonly seen in the animal kingdom, the potential mate who wins the fight, has the nicest feathers, nicest horn, is the tallest, has the sparkliest eyes, etc., usually wins. It's important to note that this is a single study, and factors like personal taste and cultural background obviously play a role in shaping these preferences. However, the findings offer a glimpse into how our perception of choice can influence personal decisions like engagement rings.

On the same note, many years ago, Griskevicius and colleagues (2012) explored how the ratio of men to women (called sex ratio) in a population influenced how men approached their finances. The researchers suggest that when men outweigh women, men tend to prioritise spending over saving. The evolutionary explanation for this behaviour is that when in situations where men face tougher competition for mates, they might be more inclined to spend on things that they think could enhance their attractiveness – Clothes, dinner, holidays, gifts... This focus on short-term gains (and maybe reckless decisions) comes at the expense of long-term financial planning. Our subconscious desires, like the drive to find a partner, can play a significant role in how we handle money.

Rings may boost our self-esteem.

Researchers in Japan, Yokoi et al., (2017) conducted a study to see if wearing rings could improve behavioural and psychological symptoms in female dementia patients. Dementia is a a group of related symptoms associated with an ongoing decline of brain functioning. There are many different causes of dementia and many different types. A majority of the people with dementia are over 65 years of age.

The researchers observed how the patients responded to wearing rings and the compliments they received from caregivers about the rings. The researchers thought that the rings would give the patients a self-esteem boost by reminding them of their femininity and attractiveness, leading to a decrease in negative emotions (i.e., irritability and anxiety). The researchers observed some positive changes in mood associated with wearing rings and receiving compliments.

Cheryl ring - Bohomoon.
Made of stainless steel - long-lasting and durable!

Do wedding rings make men more attractive?

Many men (on Reddit) these days have shared that when they wear their wedding ring, they feel that they get a lot more interest from women than when they don't. When a man wears a wedding ring, it can suggest that he has desirable qualities. It must be said that many people who are married may choose to not wear a ring, and wearing a ring on your ring finger does not necessarily mean it's a wedding/an engagement ring. Back in 2003, researchers Uller and Johansson studied the interactions between women and men, with some men wearing wedding rings and others not. It was found that the presence or absence of a ring didn't influence the women's perception of the men's attractiveness or their potential as a partner. This study highlights the multifaceted nature of human mate selection, where factors beyond marital status and jewellery wearing exist. Considering that this study is 20+ years old, these findings may not be the case today.

Does ring cost have anything to do with how long a marriage lasts?

Francis-Tan and Mialon (2015) investigated the relationship between wedding expenses and how long marriages last. The researchers found that spending a lot on weddings and engagement rings was linked to marriages that didn't last as long. There was no link between a less expensive wedding and a short marriage, but spending less than $1000 £750-790 on a ring was associated with an increase in divorces among women. The study suggests that focusing on the ceremony itself less and building a strong foundation for a marriage might be more important for long-term success. What do you think of this? A lot of factors come into play when speaking of marriage.

This post is not sponsored nor an ad.



Griskevicius, V., Tybur, J. M., Ackerman, J. M., Delton, A. W., Robertson, T. E., & White, A. E. (2012). The financial consequences of too many men: Sex ratio effects on saving, borrowing, and spending. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102(1), 69–80.

Locke, A., Desrochers, J., & Arnocky, S. (2020). Induced Mate Abundance Increases Women’s Expectations for Engagement Ring Size and Cost. Evolutionary Psychological Science 6, 188–194.

Uller, T. & Johansson, L. C. (2003). Human mate choice and the wedding ring effect : Are married men more attractive? Human nature, 14(3), 267–276.

Yokoi, T., Okamura, H., Yamamoto, T., Watanabe, K., Yokoi, S., Atae, H., Ueda, M., Kuwayama, T., Sakamoto, S., Tomino, S., Fujii, H., Honda, T., Morita, T., Yukawa, T., & Harada, N. (2017). Effect of wearing fingers rings on the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia: An exploratory study. SAGE open medicine, 5.

1 Comment

Mar 17

Cuuuuuuute read

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