Psychologists Say Fanboys Are Protecting Self Image

A study from the University of Illinois to be published in the next Journal of Consumer Psychology, suggests that those with “high self-brand connections (SBC) respond to negative brand information as they do personal failure – they experience a threat to their positive self-view.” Pretty deep, right? Or kinda obvious; I’ve always put it down to self-validation. That is, not wanting to feel like a dick because you bought a crap product.

Well, that and the joys of being a troll.

The study says consumers with a high SBC also maintained a favourable brand evaluation despite negative information. In lay terms: fanboys (and girls). “However, when they completed an unrelated self-affirmation task, they lowered their brand evaluations the same as low SBC consumers.”

According to Ars, the conclusion that fanboys treat brands as they do themselves (and are therefore affected personally by a brand’s failure) challenges previous research that the connection was more akin to a personal relationship. I guess they hadn’t factored in denial. [ScienceDirect via Ars Technica]

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