Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Testosterone is an up-seller's best friend

Isn't it odd that anyone even thought of doing this study?   Testosterone (allegedly) makes men do this:
....testosterone, the male sex hormone, increases men's preference for status goods compared to goods of similar perceived quality but seen as lower in status.

The paper, "Single-Dose Testosterone Administration Increases Men's Preference for Status Goods," is published in Nature Communications. The research reveals that consumption of status goods (e.g., luxury products or experiences) is partly driven by biological motives. The results are the first to demonstrate that testosterone causally influences rank-related consumer preferences and that the effect is driven by consumers' aspiration to gain status rather than power or a general inclination for high quality goods....

To gain more insights on the role of testosterone on social rank and status associated behavior, a study was conducted involving 243 men of similar age and socio-economic background. Randomly, half of them received a single dose of testosterone that mimicked a testosterone spike that could occur in an everyday situation causing an increased ; the other half received a placebo treatment. All subjects then participated in two tasks.

In the first one, they were asked to choose between pairs of brands. The pairs were composed of brands that were all pretested to have polarised social rank associations but did not differ in perceived quality. That is, one brand was seen to lift its owner much higher in the social hierarchy (e.g., Calvin Klein) than the other (e.g., Levi's). For each pair, participants were asked "which brand do you prefer and to what extent?", on 10-point scale anchored with each brand. The findings reveal that men who received the testosterone doses showed a higher preference for the status (positional) goods associated with higher social rank (such as a luxury brand). This suggests a causal link between testosterone and rank-related consumer preferences.

The second task meant to investigate the effect of testosterone on the two distinct routes to high social rank—status and power. While status refers to the respect in the eyes of others, power comes from one's control of a valued resources. The research team used six different product categories from coffee machines to luxury cars and created three different framings for each product category, with a similar wording but emphasising the target product in terms of its status benefits, power benefits or high quality.

For example, the mock ads variously described a Mont Blanc pen as "the internationally recognised symbol among the influential" (status), "mightier than the sword" (power) "an instrument of persistence and durability" (quality), says David Dubois.

The researchers then asked participants how much they liked the product description and the product itself. Here testosterone did not increase liking when the product was perceived as a quality product or a power enhancing one but only when it was described as conveying status. These results establish a causal link between testosterone and increase of preference for status-enhancing goods.
I say again - that's really weird.  And sort of funny.  

1 comment:

Gelatinous Hammersmith said...

Status is power