Testosterone drives men to buy fast cars
Researchers at Concordia University's John Molson School of Business in Montreal took 39 willing young men and let them take a cruise in a $150,000 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet.
The men were then asked to drive a 16-year-old Toyota Camry.
They drove each vehicle once on a busy street where they would be seen by women, and then again on a quiet road.
After one hour, the men's saliva was tested for testosterone.
The researchers found that in the sedan, the men's hormone levels remained low, but in the sports car, testosterone levels stayed high — with or without an audience.
"In other words, just put a guy in a Porsche, and his testosterone levels shoot up, whether people watch or not," said marketing professor Gad Saad, the study's lead researcher.
"It's literally the peacock's tail. It's the human version," said Saad.
"It's saying, 'all you pretenders out there — you couldn't be driving this Aston Martin — you couldn't even rent it.'"
But, Saad said it is unlikely the car would have any long-term impact on a man's libidinal drive.
"What it can certainly do, is it can serve as an honest signal of your social status," Saad said.