It’s well known that driving under the influence is a bad idea. However, scientists yesterday discovered that shopping under the influence (of testosterone) is almost as great a crime.
Why is this? A study, conducted by the California Institute of Technology, has shown that men with increased testosterone levels, “Have a greater preference for goods that are considered status symbols.” For example, a man with high testosterone will be more likely than a man with low testosterone to buy designer products.
I don’t care if Floyd Mayweather spent $18 million on a watch or not, I know it can’t do half as much as my Apple Watch 😂
— Qᴜᴇᴇɴ ᴏғ Aᴍᴇʀɪᴄᴀ (@KorySKirk) June 27, 2018
How did they come to this conclusion? The scientists took 243 male volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55, who were randomly selected, to receive a dose of testosterone gel or placebo gel. They were then sent home and returned to the lab, “When testosterone levels in their blood (were) near peak,” (Science Daily). Upon returning, they completed tasks designed to gauge their preferences for different types of goods.
As reported by Science Daily, “The first task presented participants with a 10-point scale that had a brand associated with high social status at one end and a brand with lower social status but otherwise equivalent quality at the other end. They were asked to move a slider toward the brand they preferred with the slider’s proximity to the brand indicating how strong their preference was.”
“The data the researchers collected during this task showed that the men who received a dose of testosterone had a stronger preference for the luxury brands than did the men who received the placebo.”
To make sense of this, Colin Camerer, one of the authors of the study, said we must look to testosterone’s function in the animal kingdom: to generate status-seeking and status-protecting behaviour.
“A lot of human behaviours are repurposed behaviours seen in our primate relatives. So, here, we’re replacing physical aggression with a sort of ‘consumer’ aggression.”
This is why the expression, ‘peacocking,’ is so apt. Just as a peacock, if it didn’t need to attract mates, would be better off without its tail (which makes it harder to escape from predators), the man who buys a $300,000 sports car could have used that money more efficiently to make his life easier—but didn’t—in order to prove his status. This is known as “costly signalling.”
a lot of y’all are starting to really mistake expense for fashion. just cause it’s expensive don’t mean it’s cute. and just because you got 3 designer peices that don’t mean they go together.
— key™️ (@keiaralynne) May 18, 2018
“In our closest animal kin, males spend a lot of time and energy fighting to establish dominance. We do, too, but our weapons are what we wear, drive, and live in rather than claws, fists, and muscles,” Camerer said. So if you have a habit of blowing out your budget, maybe sit out shopping the next time you undergo your next round of Peptides…