It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
(visit the link for the full news article)
Have you ever found yourself frothing at the fingertips while explaining why someone doesn't deserve to use an iPhone because of their deeply flawed sense of aesthetics? Have you been the type to declare that those who don't use Android are cylons who are under mind control from Cupertino? Or are you Peter Bright, turning up your nose at all of us while you wax on about the unappreciated genius of the Windows 7 Phone?
The researchers performed two experiments, one on a group of 30 women and another on 170 undergraduate students, in order to see whether the subjects' self esteem was tied to the general ratings of various brands. Those who had high self-brand connections (SBC)—that is, those who follow, research, or simply like a certain brand—were the ones whose self esteem suffered the most when their brands didn't do well or were criticized. Those with low SBC remained virtually unaffected on a personal level.
The residual effect of this is that those with high SBCs tend to discount negative news about their favorite brands, and sometimes even ignore it altogether in favor of happier thoughts.
The paper notes that its conclusions challenge some assumptions from previous literature on brand connections. It had been assumed that brands are treated more like an interpersonal relationship and that brand loyalty is indicative of relationship strength. Instead, the Illinois researchers believe people treat brands as they treat themselves, leading users to feel more affected by brand failure instead of less.
"Because the brand is seen as a part of the self by virtue of being intimately tied to the self, failure on the part of the brand is experienced as a personal failure," reads the paper. "Therefore, in an effort to maintain a positive self-view, high SBC individuals react defensively to brand failure by evaluating the brand favorably despite its poor performance.