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Marketing & Politics Roundup

March 4, 2011

Certain brands and logos may influence risk-taking behavior.



The power of a logo. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Do energy drinks rev you up because of what’s in the drink, or what’s on the can? A new study in the Journal of Consumer Psychology found that the Red Bull logo alone was enough to affect people’s behavior. Volunteers played a racing car video game in which one car had a Red Bull logo and the other car didn’t. When players drove the Red Bull car, they were far more reckless and aggressive and had more accidents—despite the fact that the cars and the course were identical.

In other psychology news, a study in the journal Political Communications found that commentators in television, radio and newspapers resorted to insults and name calling in nearly 9 out of 10 cases. Analysis of media from the most turbulent periods of the civil rights movement or the height of the Watergate scandal showed little such language. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.