Imagine this: You’re interviewing two people for a job. They’re equally competent, capable, and qualified—but you can see that one is wearing an outfit from H&M and the other’s clothes are clearly from Louis Vuitton. Which candidate will you hire?  

          想象一下,你正在面试两个能力、资历相当且都非常适合这项工作的人,但是一个人穿着H&M的服装,另一个穿了路易·威登(Louis Vuitton)的服装。你会雇佣哪一个呢?  

      A new study in theJournal of Business Research suggests you’re more likely to choose the latter. Surveying students at a large urban university in Seoul, South Korea, researchers from Yonsei University and Coastal Carolina University examined how we react to others depending on the brands they’re wearing. To do so, they tested several scenarios of someone wearing a luxury brand logo, a logo from a non-luxury brand, or no logo. They found that in nearly every situation, people gave preferential treatment to the person wearing the luxury logo。

  《商业研究杂志》(The Journal of Business Research)近期一项新研究表明,你更可能会选择后者。来自韩国延世大学(Yonsei University)和卡罗莱纳海岸大学(Coastal Carolina University)的研究者们,对韩国首尔市区大学学生进行了“我们对他人所穿着的不同品牌服装有何不同反应”的调查。为了做这项研究,他们测试了几种方案,观察人们对着名牌、着普通品牌和着无牌服饰的人的反应。他们发现几乎在所有情况下,人们都会对穿着名牌服饰的人给予特殊照顾。

  The researchers call this effect an example of costly signaling theory, which says that people show off to “signal” to others that they can afford to do so. In the case of luxury brands, the theory predicts that people wear expensive clothing to flaunt that they can afford it, thereby increasing their status in the eyes of others。

  研究者把这种效应称作高成本信号理论(costly signaling theory),也就是说人们通过炫耀自己的外表将“自己有钱这样做”的信号传递给他人。在名牌的影响下,这个理论预测人们穿着昂贵的服饰是为了炫耀自己买得起奢侈品,从而能够提高他们在别人眼中的地位。

  In the study’s first scenario, 180 observers were shown a picture of a woman wearing a white polo shirt and asked to rate her wealth, status, attractiveness, trustworthiness, and other characteristics. Three versions of the picture were used, identical except for the shirt’s visible brand logo (luxury, non-luxury, or none). The observers of the luxury logo rated the woman significantly higher on wealth and status than did the observers of the non-luxury logo or no logo。 


  In the second scenario, 150 observers watched a video of a woman being interviewed for an internship. Three versions of the video were used, again identical except for the logo on the woman’s shirt. The observers rated the woman on a number of characteristics, but this time they also judged her suitability for the job and the pay she should receive. Observers of the luxury logo rated the woman most suitable for the job, again with significantly higher status and wealth ratings. The luxury observers also thought she deserved the highest compensation. Asked to choose her hourly pay from five ranges, over half of luxury observers chose one of the top two ranges—far greater than the 12% of non-luxury observers and 10% of no-logo observers who did the same。 

  第二个方案中,有150个人观看了一位女士应聘实习岗位的视频。同样有三种版本,同样是除T恤衫商标不同之外其他均相同。这次,观察者要对她的个人品质进行排序,还要判断她是否适合这项工作和她应得的薪资。观察者再一次认为着奢侈品牌服饰的她更适合这项工作,且社会地位和财富值更高。他们还认为她应得到最高的薪资待遇。之后,他们在5个范围内选择她的时薪,超过一半的奢侈品观察者选择了最高的两种时薪,而普通品牌观察者选择最高时薪的只有12%, 无牌观察者只有10%做出了同样的选择。 

  But this doesn’t necessarily mean you should rush out and splurge on Gucci shoes before your next job interview. The researchers caution that several additional factors are at work。


  For one, the observer must recognize the brand logo without assistance. If the wearer has to point out what she’s wearing, the effect is destroyed. And, of course, the observer must know the brand to recognize it in the first place。 


  For another, how someone wears the brand matters. The researchers say that a gaudy outfit will probably backfire with wealthy observers. Wealthy people tend to value subtlety in showing one’s social standing, viewing “loud” displays of clothing as being in bad taste. Cheaper designer items cater to the opposite impulse, often featuring large logos that allow their purchasers to conspicuously show off the brand。 


  The hiring process isknownto befraughtwith biases—now it seems we can add fashion to the list too。