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From the article:

The current study was double-blinded and randomized and used a larger sample size than earlier efforts, 243 men ages 18-55. Each participant received a gel to apply to his upper body; some gels contained testosterone and others a placebo.

In one task, participants were shown two logos of apparel brands selected to match their perceived quality but differ in status, for example, higher-status Calvin Klein versus lower-status Levis. Those who received a dose of testosterone were significantly more likely to prefer the higher-status brands.

The second task presented participants with descriptions of certain goods, such as watches, coffeemakers, and sunglasses, as either power-enhancing, status-enhancing or high-quality and asked about their attitudes toward the products. Here, too, men who received a testosterone boost were more likely to express positive feelings about the items described as status-enhancing, though there was no difference between the groups when the goods were described as power-enhancing.

“We were trying to disentangle power from status,” Nave says. “Typically in the animal kingdom they go together, but you can think of examples in human society where they don’t. For example, a border patrol agent has a lot of power but not status. And a famous climate scientist may have a lot of status but little power.”

Nave notes that testosterone naturally rises in men in certain contexts, such as during and after sporting events, or subsequent to major life events like a graduation or divorce. Marketers could take advantage of these oscillations to tailor their marketing strategies to these individuals.

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