You’ve gotta hand it to science. They’re pretty darn good at proving with evidence the things we’re all familiar with. Today’s revelation: fanboys take stuff personally. More specifically, they take it as an affront to their personal self-worth when you criticize their favorite brands.
The study touches on a lot of basic principals of psychology: the more familiar you are with something you like the more attached you get and the more likely you are to defend it. Additionally, those who are familiar with a brand see said brand as an extension of themselves.
It’s basic self-preservation instinct. We’re hard-wired to defend ourselves and our own. My house. My car. My property. We’ll defend these things because they are a part of our livelihood. The notion of protecting not just our physical bodies but all of the things that make up our lives is central to community living and equilibrium. The trouble comes from the rose-colored glasses that this mentality can put on us. We want to view the brands we identify with as positively as possible. More often than not, folks who identify strongly with their brands tend to ignore negative news and information in favor of a rosier outlook.
In modern life, though, the reaction results in little more than internet arguments and a lot of wasted time. Still, it’s worth keeping in mind that the next time tensions escalate while you’re extolling the virtues of WP7 that the person who just can’t buy what you’re selling isn’t an idiot, he just wasn’t hugged enough.