AP080906011020Your worst nightmare has just been officially confirmed by scientific research: That obnoxiously expensive alligator logo plastered on Lacoste shirts does, in fact, buy their owners status--and even wins them a higher salary into the bargain.
Researchers from the Netherlands's Tilburg University have found that people wearing a small designer logo on their shirt are more likely to be judged as high-status and deserving than when they wear the same clothes without the logo. The Economist summarizes Tilburg group's findings, which will be published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior.
Subjects in one experiment looked at pictures of a man wearing a polo that had a Tommy Hilfiger or Lacoste logo on it. Other subjects were shown the same photos—only in digitally altered form showing the shirts adorned with a logo from a non-luxury brand, Slazenger. Subjects rated the luxury logo-wearing men as higher status and wealthier than those wearing the Slazenger logo.
Next, the researchers tried to see if that perception would affect how logo-wearing people are treated by others. A volunteer wearing a luxury logo on her sweater asked people at a mall to stop and take a survey. About 52 percent agreed to take the survey. When the volunteer wore a sweater without a logo, only 13 percent stopped to take the survey. Volunteers wearing logos who asked people to donate to charity also got double the money than when they switched to non-logo clothes. And, perhaps most significantly, subjects recommended a logo-wearing job interviewee for a 9 percent higher salary than the same man without the logo who interviewed for the job.
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