Saving $2 Found to Lower Self Esteem

In case we didn’t have enough ways to hate ourselves:

“Even incidentally used cheaper, generic products have the ironic consequence of harming one’s self-image via a sense of worthlessness,” say researchers.

And these researchers came to this conclusion after conducting two almost comically elaborate experiments on unwitting Taiwanese college students:

In the first, a group of college kids were brought into a room and told to write a two-page résumé. They were also told they were using computers whose mice had just been replaced, but that half of the computers had been given brand-name replacement mice, and half had been given generic-brand replacement mice, “due to budgetary restraints.” The students were then asked what salary they expected to make once they graduated, and the ones who believed they’d been using the generic mice said lower numbers, presumably internalizing the fact that life had taken them on a sad, dark path to this computer hooked up with a generic-brand mouse.

In the second experiment, guys were asked to call up a cute girl and introduce themselves, only to discover that the battery on the phone they’d been given was dead. (So complicated!) Half of the guys were then given a brand-name replacement battery, while the others were given a generic-brand replacement, due to “budget cuts.” When the call was over, guys who used the generic battery “thought the partner would consider them less attractive” than the guys who used the brand-name battery. (Strangely crushing!)

And there you have it. The Taio Cruz lyric “I’m wearing all my favorite brands, brands, brand, brands” no longer seems quite so ridiculous. No, it still does, and will, always.