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For decades there has been a certain narrative about sports cars and their male drivers. Some claim drivers might be compensating for a certain thing with their powerful, bright red Porsche or Lamborghini. A U.K. university study has concluded that there really is something to the old comparison. It shows there actually could be a psychological link between certain male sports car owners and compensating with a powerful sports car.

Who participated in the sports cars and male drivers study?

Flashy cars
Flashy sports cars and their owners | Getty

The U.K. study found 200 men. Their ages ranged from 18 years old to 74. Researchers felt that knowing what the study entailed would result in none of the respondents answering questions truthfully. After all, they’re responding to very personal questions. 

What did researchers tell participants the study was for?

Getting the help to clean your Porsche | Richard Baker / In Pictures via Getty

Instead, researchers said the study was about memory loss in this tense, busy, overloaded age we live in. They were to read certain information while bombarded with ads from the internet. Dropped between those ads were false facts about the male anatomy.  

The comments gave false information regarding both the long and the short. Then, at the end of each session, the respondents were asked about sports cars and their appeal to them. 

What questions were asked about sports cars?

parked Ferrari
A red Ferrari parked on the pavement | Richard Baker / In Pictures via Getty

“Our primary hypothesis was that ratings for sports cars increased when male participants were manipulated to believe that they have relatively small (pickles),” the study’s researchers said. “We tested a secondary hypothesis, that the link is driven by self-esteem in general, with other trials that contained manipulated facts about what might impact self-esteem in different ways, and a variety of luxury and non-luxury products. Finally, we analyzed participants’ age, since it determines both mating strategies and patterns.

“The key experimental trial told participants that the average erect (willie) size of other men was either seven inches, a small (member), low self-esteem; or four inches, a large (baloney), high self-esteem, and was always followed by a rating of one of six sports cars. On four trials, they were given either the original fact, or a version with one detail changed and asked if the statement was true or false. After the experiment trials, participants were told that some of the facts they had been told were incorrect, and they were asked to give their estimates of the true values of these facts, including the true average (wee wee) size.”

What researchers found was that when given information to make them feel insecure, respondents were more interested in buying a sports car. Those aged 29 and older showed an especially higher sports car interest when presented with false facts. So take it or leave it, those were the results of the study.  


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