Everyone knows people who buy designer clothes are shallow assholes. But it looks like everyone is a shallow asshole. People apparently hold other people in higher regard simply if they're wearing clothes with a designer label.
In a new study in Evolution and Human Behavior, researchers found that labels act as a status-boosting talisman. They showed a picture of a man with a luxury logo like Lacoste and a picture with the logo digitally removed to volunteers. The volunteers judged the man with the logo to be wealthier and of "higher status."
This translated to real-world benefits. From the Economist:
one of their female assistants asked people in a shopping mall to stop and answer survey questions. One day she wore a sweater with a designer logo; the next, an identical sweater with no logo. Some 52% of people agreed to take the survey when faced with the Tommy Hilfiger label, compared with only 13% who saw no logo.
These results don't only show that we're evolutionarily wired to love logos, as the Economist suggests. It's also a signal of the fashion industry's radical success at turning consumers into irrational, Pavlovian shopping bots, salivating over tiny scraps of brightly-colored fabric. This might backfire once people skip the clothes altogether and just get Chanel logos tattooed directly on their foreheads. [The Economist, Image via Getty]