Here’s What Men Buy When They Want to Look More Powerful

Want to Seem More Powerful? Buy Products With This One Thing in Common
Eldon John Parnala/EyeEm / Getty Images

There are plenty of ways to look more powerful—and most of them begin in the gym or the kitchen. You can develop stronger, more powerful muscles by following certain nutrition rules, and you can incorporate our ultimate total-body workout to build maximum muscle into your regular routine to get started.

But those things take time to see results. And while we don’t believe in quick fixes, there is one easy (though not necessarily cheap) way to instantly look more powerful—at least in the minds of a lot of guys: Shopping for stuff with a broad or wide design—like a watch with a large face, or a car with a wider hood, according to a new University of Kansas study published in the Journal of Conusmer Research.

In the study, researches conducted five different experiments in which subjects were asked to look at pictures of human faces with varying width-to-height ratios (ranging from narrow faces to wider faces), as well as pictures of different products that might have similar designs to a human face—like a watch or car.

Then, they were asked to look at the different pictures while thinking about different scenarios, like “preparing to encounter either an old high school bully or a former sweetheart at a 10-year high school reunion or a business trip that might require a difficult negotiation,” according to the study’s press release. In psychological studies, these thought experiments are designed to cue up the need to feel dominant.

The general consensus? When people were in scenarios where they wanted to display power over others—like with the bully or during a business negotation—they favored products with wider product designs.

“It’s probably because people view the product as part of themselves,” says Ahreum Maeng, a lead author on the study. “They would think, ‘It’s my possession. I have control over it when I need it, and I can demonstrate my dominance through the product.'”

So the next time you’re negotiating a raise or promotion, you might want to consider adding something like this wide-faced Samsung special edition smartwatch to your perfect interview look—it may not be the reason you lock down the deal, but it certainly can’t hurt. That, or roll into the meeting on a bulldozer.

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