There are certainly no shortages of fanboys in the world of video games. Players attach themselves to their favorite platform – (PC / Console) (Xbox One Vs PS4) – to their favorite games (CoD Vs BF) – To their favorite publishers (Activision Vs EA).  And of course, being a fanboy doesn’t even mean the object has to be a video game. Any brand or group can have a devout following.

But what causes these people to go to the extreme to defend their brands? Many refuse to look or listen to any positives from other competitors. They ignore or downplay any negatives about the brand they love. And they over emphasize and focus on only the positives.

How did they get here?

This is a commentary discussing the findings of a recent study from Northwestern University in Illinois.

It isn’t uncommon for people to become attached to other people or animals.  If someone picks on a family member or friend, it is usually human nature to also feel that pain and feel that you’ve also been picked on and go into defensive or attack mode.  But this same instinct of feeling connected to something can also be applied to objects and brands.

First, Psychologists and Researchers wanted to understand the self-esteem of the people they were studying.

This was key, because people with low self-esteem tend to respond more strongly to threats to the self. If participants who have low self-esteem were more likely to defend a brand than participants with higher self-esteem, this would imply that the participants have incorporated the brand into their sense of self.

Once researchers found the low self-esteem test subjects, they then had them rate different brands according to how well they liked them.

The subjects who liked the brands the most were then asked to read articles that were negative about the companies in question. After reading the negative articles on the companies, the subjects were asked to re-rate the brands. The results showed that these peoples ratings were either not affected, or actually INCREASED and were more positive after reading the negative stories.

In other words, they had drifted into the realm of the fanboy.

Read the Study Here: Leave My Brand Alone

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