Thursday, July 05, 2018

Testosterone makes men prefer high-status goods

Here's a new study on the impact of testosterone (T). In a placebo-controlled experiment of 243 men, giving a dose of T increases preference for status brands over brands of similar perceived quality but lower status. T also makes men have more positive attitudes toward high-status goods, but does not affect how they feel about power-enhancing or high-quality goods.

Interesting how T makes us like status, not power. I guess the difference is that power is not necessarily socially-approved, but status is. 

This study did not include women, but it appears that T makes men more concerned with rising in the social hierarchy, and we signal our position through status goods. This has gotten to be a more subtle game as elites have embraced the t-shirts and shabby jeans of the working man, but our nature cannot escape hierarchy. 

1 comment:

  1. > This has gotten to be a more subtle game as elites
    > have embraced the t-shirts and shabby jeans of the
    > working man

    Not really. Men have always dressed towards "the uniform". Jeans and T-Shirts were not the "casual wear" of the working man, they were the work wear of the miner (originally) and then the western farmer and later the rancher.

    It wasn't until the 1960s that jeans entered pop culture, and like suits from the 1900s to the 1950s, it's the brand and the cut that segment (both horizontally and vertically) the hierarchy.

    Today someone wearing wranglers and someone wearing 7 For All Of Man Kind are much like someone in 1940 wearing an off the rack suit from Sears and Roebuck v.s. someone wearing a custom Brooks Brothers or Savile Row suit.

    From a thumbnail photo there's not a lot of difference. But they know.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078HYR33Z/

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008O4L12K/

    The sort of man who wears Wrangler not the sort of man who wears 7 for all of Mankind (although oddly Wrangler has a seriously up market version and 7FAOM has a down market version).

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