The science of fanboyism

We’ve all encountered them. They lurk in Internet message boards, comment threads, and chatrooms. Addressing anyone and everyone, they type up lengthy tirades with Cheeto-stained fingers, extolling the virtues of their product or brand of choice. They angrily accuse even the most impartial reviewers of taking handouts from reviled competitors of a beloved company, and they casually and systematically dismiss any evidence that might conflict with their worldview.

They’re known in our parlance as fanboys.

For years, I’ve quietly wondered about what drives them. What on Earth pushes sane, otherwise intelligent people to develop an irrational bias toward a given brand or product? Most of the time, the products in question are entirely unworthy of emotional attachment—most of the fanboys here at TR have fallen in love with graphics cards, microprocessors, cell phones, and laptops. Those folks are usually notorious and often ridiculed, but never ignored, for their angry critiques and smug self-affirmations draw crowds of others—sometimes fanboys from rival clans—determined to make them see reason. It never works.

Are we seeing the manifestation of a rational process, whereby people attempt to validate and elevate themselves by loudly trumpeting the superiority of their choices? Or is something else at play?

As it turns out, evidence suggests that fanboys aren’t just raving fools. I’m not talking about anecdotal evidence, either. Various scientific studies have pointed to the existence of a basal process that, when one chooses between two roughly equally desirable items, causes the brain’s perception of the two items to change significantly. The rejected item appears less desirable than it did before, while the chosen item is suddenly viewed as more desirable.

Perhaps the oldest study on the subject was conducted by Jack Brehm at the University of Minnesota in the 1950s. Brehm set out to examine the relationship between personal choice and cognitive dissonance—the state of having conflicting ideas kicking around in your head. Brehm gathered 225 female students from the University and asked them to rate eight common objects (things like toasters, coffee makers, art books, and stopwatches) on an eight-point scale from least to most desirable.

As part of the study, Brehm selected two objects a given participant had rated within 0.5-1.5 points of each other, and he told that participant she could take one of the objects home. After the participant had made her choice, she was asked to indulge in some filler activities, then made to rate the items again. Here are the changes in ratings Brehm measured (and subsequently corrected for regression):

Source: Jack W. Brehm. “Post-decision changes in desirability of alternatives” (1956)

The data are pretty clear: after making their selection, respondents ended up holding their chosen item in higher regard and thinking less of the item they left behind. Brehm measured similar results with a group of participants who, before rating items a second time, were given information cards listing both positive and negative details about their chosen and rejected items. Interestingly, he detected no significant rating shift when participants were randomly given one of the items. In other words, you’re more likely to look objectively at the competition if your product was a gift than if you picked it yourself.

The results are pretty well known, and if you’re introspective enough, you’ve probably noticed yourself behaving that way.

Now, here’s where things get really interesting. A few years ago, several researchers at Harvard University (Matthew Lieberman, Kevin Ochsner, Daniel Gilbert, and Daniel Schacter) conducted a similar study on two groups of participants: one comprised of normal, healthy people, and another comprised of people suffering from anterograde amnesia—an inability to create new memories. If you’ve seen the movie Memento, you should be familiar with the condition. If not, well, you should probably watch it anyway. It’s a good movie.

The Harvard researchers made participants rank pairs of art prints and choose one pair to take home. They also tested the participants’ memories by asking them which pairs of prints they had selected and rejected. As you might expect, the amnesic participants couldn’t remember which prints they had picked. But guess what happened when the participants were asked to re-rate the pairs? The amnesic subjects showed roughly the same level of bias toward their chosen pairs even though they had no memory of choosing them:

Source: Matthew D. Lieberman, Kevin N. Ochsner, Daniel T. Gilbert, and Daniel L. Schacter

“Do amnesics exhibit cognitive dissonance reduction?” (2001)

That must mean the change in perception happens at a much lower level than it might seem. Here’s what the researchers concluded:

People tend to look unfavorably on individuals who change their attitudes to justify their behaviors because these individuals should be able to see that they are “just rationalizing” and thus realize that their new attitudes are glaringly inauthentic. Our results suggest, however, that the behavior-induced attitude-change process may not be consciously experienced. Because the results of automatic attitude processes are often experienced as a given by the environment rather than constructed by the mind, what looks like disingenuous rationalization from without may feel genuine from within (Bargh, 1989).

Are you starting to feel compassion for belligerent fanboys yet? Clearly, they can’t help refusing to see reason. Their brains have automatically and unconsciously re-wired themselves to view their product of choice as markedly superior. Competition that might have seemed just as good before now appears clearly inferior to them. In their minds, everyone else is irrationally refusing to see the world as it is. Why wouldn’t they get mad and write angry rants on message boards? To make matters worse, everyone seems to behave that way—yes, even you—albeit to varying degrees.

Still not ready to cut fanboys some slack? Another, more recent study gives us a glimpse of just how deep this attitude-change mechanism might run. Louisa Egan, Laurie Santos, and Paul Bloom of Yale University conducted a similar study on four-year-old children and capuchin monkeys. The children were asked to rate stickers in order of preference on a smiley-face scale. Based on those ratings, the researchers singled out three stickers with similar scores. They asked the kids to choose between the first two; once the kids had made a choice, the researchers made them choose between the sticker they’d rejected and the third sticker. A control group was randomly given one of the three stickers and asked to choose between the other two.

The capuchin monkeys were tested in a similar fashion, although instead of the smiley-face scale and stickers, researchers used different-colored M&Ms and determined preference by timing how long the monkeys took to retrieve each type of M&M. A system of cages and doors was used for the choosing phase, to make sure the monkeys didn’t just grab both M&Ms on display and make a run for it. You can find out the exact methodology in the full paper, The Origins of Cognitive Dissonance (PDF).

Anyhow, according to the results, children and monkeys alike developed a bias against the rejected item when faced with the second choice. When the researchers took the original rejection process out of the equation, however, they detected no bias in favor of the third option. Here are the data:

Source: Louisa C. Egan, Laurie R. Santos, and Paul Bloom

“The Origins of Cognitive Dissonance” (2007)

If monkeys and four-year-old kids both exhibit this behavior, then we must be looking at a fairly basal mechanism. I’d love to dig deeper into the underlying causes, but that’ll have to wait for another blog post. I’m sure some evolutionary psychologists have come up with a neat explanation of why we and our primate cousins have all been selected for this behavior, though. Perhaps we’re hard-wired to keep chasing the same prey even if we see spot another, equally tasty-looking animal on the way, since the initial prey is more likely to be exhausted from running and thus easier to catch.

I should reiterate, by the way, that the behavior we’ve discussed only manifests itself when subjects choose between similarly desirable options—like, say, a GeForce GTX 560 and a Radeon HD 6870. As Brehm showed in his research, people don’t alter their perception significantly after choosing a clearly preferred item over a clearly disliked one. To go back to my hasty speculation, maybe you’re better off going after clearly bigger and easier-to-catch game even if it means starting the hunt from scratch.

In any case, the truth seems to be that we’re all born irrational fanboys—every single one of us. Not everyone is going to spend entire evenings in their mom’s basement debating the merits of Captain Kirk over Picard (who, by the way, is clearly the more skilled commanding officer), but we all possess a natural propensity to engage in that kind of behavior. Luckily, as humans, we’re blessed with the ability to tone down natural behaviors and use higher levels of thought to see and interact with the world more rationally. All it takes is admitting that you have a problem…

Comments closed
    • DMF
    • 8 years ago

    Interesting article. Thanks.

    It strikes me, though, that the phenomenon seems relatively weak. One would expect a basal mechanism to exhibit itself more strongly.

    One unspoken variable (among many) is how much the participant cares about his choice. A coffee addict would care more about the coffee maker he’d chosen than one who is caffeine-free. A schoolgirl might or might not care about stickers. On the other hand, rating two choices as equal might be indicative of a subject not caring.

    I’d like to see work correlating the importance the subject places on the choice with the ‘rationalization’ phenomenon.

    Also, the post-choice experience (if any) with the chosen object. Presumably a choice leads to further experience. The monkey takes possession and eats the M&M. The children and the consumers presumably take possession, at least, and may use the item before re-rating. The amnesics.. ?? (being unable to consciously reference a memory does not mean that there is no memory.)

    • dashbarron
    • 8 years ago

    Noone has made a list of all the TR regular Fanboys? A bit shocking 🙂

    • dashbarron
    • 8 years ago

    The studies are really effective in helping fanboys see the light; if anything, it seems like a tool for haters to use against the fanboys.

    Who wants to be told that they’re logic is invalid because a supposed mental deficiency? To a lot of people, they are hearing you calling them and idiot (and you might be), when basically you’re telling them they can’t reason because their subconscious won’t let them:practically the very definition of a sociopath.

    On a side note, I can already see drug prescriptions and a new epidemic from people with a “mental condition” for fanboyism, preventing them from working, going to school, needing disability, etc.

    No good can come of this I say!

    • Afterhours227
    • 8 years ago

    As a long time Apple user, I detest Fanboys, but they do make for great entertainment. When visiting sites like “MacDailyNews” (The Very worst of them all), “Apple Insider”, or “Mac Rumors”, it’s pretty obvious that most of the posters (and moderators) are very low tech, no nothing, users. Rarely will you hear them discuss anything technical.

    They defend Apple blindly. For example, any idiot can see what an overpriced computer a Mac mini is. However, your typical fanboy will go into defensive mode and start defending Apple with Fanboy-isms such as “Ohhh Specs don’t matter”, it’s ohhhh so “elegant”, … And my computer looks so “delicious” sitting on my desk with OS X and it’s “tasty” GUI. Apple “skates to where the puck is going to be” unlike you “windows suffers” who have to deal with your “crappy” PCs and “clunky” Operating system.
    It’s fun to watch them dabble in self-importance also.. For instance, MacDailyNews is a little Blog run by one kid, Steve Jack. Of course, Mr. Jack likes to talk about “The Staff of MDN” and “Here’s an article written by our own Steve Jack”…. Pretty funny really..

    I like my macs, My iPad, and my iPhone. I also like my XP Box, my Windows Netbook, and my Linux server. They’re not junky, crappy, or clunky. Of course, I’ve been involved in PCs since before there were PCs, back when it wasn’t a crime to “know something” about the hardware and software you were using….

      • dougy
      • 8 years ago

      I’m blown away by this article, Just yesterday I had to listen to a tirade from a woman on her preference for fruit. On and on she went about how 10 years ago she chooses Apple and how much she loves them. How clunky Windows is and how she would never ever go back. Meanwhile I’m thinking you mean you haven’t even looked at the competition in a decade and you’re rubbishing it, with absolutely no intention of comparing…. or even trying something different…. ?
      I’d be very interested into a study that compared even more so the bias that women have to certain brands. Mostly because they seem to become emotionally attached far more so then men…..
      At this point I’ll also add that I have a an iPhone that I like allot and I’m typing this from my PC running Win 7 (that I really do like a great deal indeed) and am all the while thinking my next purchase is likely to be Android based.
      Anyway, to come across this article after dealing with such a person, the very next day…. wow! I do feel a little better now; you do get very sick of dealing with these sorts of noobs in tech land tho….

      • End User
      • 8 years ago

      I place just as much value on my Mac mini as I do on my server [url<]http://goo.gl/8E3jc[/url<] The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

    • tcunning1
    • 8 years ago

    Brilliant article; I think I will make it required reading for my psychology students. Beautifully written, insightful pieces like this are why I’m a Techreport fanboy. Suck it, Anandtech!

      • Dashak
      • 8 years ago

      I see what you did there.

    • Meadows
    • 8 years ago

    Sometimes actual past experience drives “fanboyism”.

    Take Modelem Man for example: **Duke Nuked**

    • puppetworx
    • 8 years ago

    Nice read. I’d love to know how buyer’s remorse works in conjunction with this.

    • Rakhmaninov3
    • 8 years ago

    Reminded me of how much I enjoyed reading about psych in college.

    Explains partisan behavior in politics, as well.

    • DeadOfKnight
    • 8 years ago

    This would make me an anomaly. I tend to ALWAYS think the grass is greener on the other side. I bought a GTX 560 Ti and my next graphics card will most likely be an AMD, probably followed by NVidia the next time around.

      • FuturePastNow
      • 8 years ago

      There’s also a fair amount of ‘cheering for the underdog’ involved whenever anyone chooses the less common option.

      • Squeazle
      • 8 years ago

      Probably not an anomaly. There are [relatively] few people who actually match the mean of an observable phenomenon. You are one of many, and you would just be one of the people decreasing the overall gap between the two numbers.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 8 years ago

      I’ve bought ATI for years, but recently went for a 470. Why? The 470 was a better deal. There were a lot of initial nit-picks I had, but most of the bugs have been fixed in driver updates. Transparency MSAA sometimes caused black boxes on textures, but if it does now, I know to turn it off. The 6870 was and still is a terrible deal, being last generation technology, and will undoubtedly perform poorly in all new dx11 games, or at least compared to a 470 it will. I also got a fairly overclockable card that easily hits 700 mhz, which should help extend the card’s usable gaming lifetime. Both companies have pro’s and con’s, like old game compatibility, AA/AF modes, the benefits of specific architectures, etc. I make my purchases based on rational comparison, and if the options are too similar, then personal preference.

      As for which company I personally like? AMD. Nvidia has done too many bad things for me to care for them, but it’s good they’re around, if only for the competition. We don’t need a one company monopoly of video cards. Nothing will get done, and things will cost too much.
      ps. I also have a 6850.

    • RickyTick
    • 8 years ago

    I would venture to say that fanboism has a much greater presence on the internet due simply to anonymity. Posting in a forum or message board causes people to act and react in a way that they never would in person.

      • clone
      • 8 years ago

      I’d venture there is far more to it than that.

      the nature of the text based discussion versus persona to person lacks facial expression and vocal inflection that would better indicate the authors message.

      this usually leads to prolonged efforts to get the point across with both respondents assuming “they don’t get it” or “don’t get what I’m saying”

      for instance a discussion where one is being devils advocate and or expressing sarcasm may be missed entirely by the respondent who believes the person is being serious and believes every word he claims wholeheartedly no matter how absurd.

      tack on those with an agenda and trolls and fanboyism may have no cure on the web.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    So this explains the success of the transformers movies…

    • burntham77
    • 8 years ago

    What I don’t get are people that are not only focused on one brand, they are vehemently against all others. Some of my co-workers only buy Apple products, which I totally understand. But they take it a step further by saying that Google and Microsoft products are all crap, which is just not true. It is as if these people do not understand that you can prefer certain brands, but still like other brands too.

      • cynan
      • 8 years ago

      Well, that extra degree of vehemency which results in their scorn of competing products is part of the (mostly subconscious) mechanism used to rationalize their fanboyism to themselves in the first place. In other words, its a more extreme means of resolving particularly pesky cognitive dissonance.

      • kylemac
      • 8 years ago

      Mike Krahulik gave an explanation on console fanboism to this extent a while ago which appeased me – it went along the lines of: You could be into Sega OR Nintendo, but not both, because you could only afford one. It wasn’t enough to convince yourself Sega was good, you had to convince yourself that Nintendo was crap, too.

      Now, with free things it’s a bit silly, but perhaps with Apple that’s the reason there’s so much PC-hate. I would LOVE to have an iPad, but there’s no way I can justify the cost when there are things that will fulfill the same functions (that I will use them for) at less than half the cost. Perhaps if I lied to myself and said the iPad was the only possible option that might make me feel better about my purchase. You know?

      I’m not saying this is a valid excuse, it’s still self-delusional, but I think that might be where they’re coming from

    • Convert
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]Luckily, as humans, we're blessed with the ability to tone down natural behaviors and use higher levels of thought to see and interact with the world more rationally.[/quote<] And that is what fanboys lack. I'm actually more surprised people don't realize that this is how their mind works, if they can't tell they are predisposed for this kind of behavior I wonder what else they are missing.

    • stratosrally
    • 8 years ago

    Through the years I’ve had 2 3dfx cards, 3 ATI cards, 3 nVidia cards, 2 AMD processors, and 3 Intel processors. 2 of my mobos had nVidia chipsets, one had VIA, and the other few were Intel. Never had any fail. I was always having to replace hard drives & optical drives, though, all sorts of brands.
    Nowadays I like Corsair, Coolermaster, EVGA, Western Digital,and Samsung – mainly because I’ve had good experiences, read good reviews, and find them aesthetically pleasing.

    If I hear about something new, read good test results, and like the design – I may switch.

    For now, though – I guess I finally became a fanboy as I reached my mid-40s.

    But I don’t argue over others likes & dislikes. I’m too old for forum posts to get me angry. Although they can get me depressed. Why can’t we all just get along?
    (sniffle…)

    • kvndoom
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]If you've seen the movie Memento, you should be familiar with the condition. If not, well, you should probably watch it anyway. It's a good movie.[/quote<] Damn Memento fanboys are the worst! 😉

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 8 years ago

      even worse are the fanboys of the indian knock off ghajini. They act like memento wasn’t made first, lol.

        • aunlead
        • 8 years ago

        amen to that bro! 🙂

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    It’s interesting because my experience has always been I’m pretty meh about the choice until such time as one company/product gives me a reason to disown them. For example, I owned a lot of nvidia and ATI (now AMD) cards in my time. And 3dfx, too, btw. And my experiences with nVidia have always been good (didn’t own an FX series or 480). My experiences with ATI have not always been good and sometimes have been very, very bad. This leads me to a natural distrust of the things ATI says.

    Meanwhile, with motherboards, I’ve owned a variety of ones, from Intel to VIA to nVidia to AMD (K7) to SIS. And in my experience, nVidia chipsets are garbage. Bar none, I’ve never had worse problems as when I owned motherboards built around an nVidia chipset. VIA wasn’t much better. SIS was okay. Intel motherboards, as is common logic, were flawless for me. Therefore, I despise nVidia chipsets and was glad to see them go. This leads me to a natural distrust of anything nVidia says.

    Then I tried an Intel Atom-based netbook and it was garbage. Which led me to a natural distrust of the things Intel says…

    …and then I realized all corporations lie. Constantly. If they’re better, they’ll lie about how much better. If they’re worse, they’ll still lie about how much better they are. Then I didn’t trust any of them and started buying based on what the reviews say the performance is like. I suggest everyone else do the same.

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 8 years ago

    Awesome read, Cyril! It was a fun read.

    I’m a fanboy! Of people who have open minds and see the big picture.

    [quote<]Captain Kirk over Picard (who, by the way, is clearly the more skilled commanding offer)[/quote<] I see what you did there!

    • mwbunce
    • 8 years ago

    Excellent article, Cyril!

    Only one minor complaint: by using the word “parlance,” you got The Dude saying “a young woman in the parlance of our times…” stuck in my head. Guess that means I gotta watch The Big Lebowski this weekend.

    Seriously though, great work – a very entertaining read.

    • bitcat70
    • 8 years ago

    To all the fanboys out there: keep doing what you do, but ask yourself this: can it play Crysis?

    • xtalentx
    • 8 years ago

    I like red and blue graphs better. They show up more clearly and offer a better experience. These yellow and green ones are substandard and only shills paid off by the yellow/green color makers would use them. Grow up people and get off the yellow/green koolaid!!!!

    RED BLUE 4EVA!!!!1!

      • TheEmrys
      • 8 years ago

      I feel bad for for color-blind people looking at bar graphs.

        • DancinJack
        • 8 years ago

        Yeah, it’s not easy. At least they’re labeled.

    • dpaus
    • 8 years ago

    Pretty graphs!! Can we get a scatter plot of “Level of Dissonance by $ spent per product category”?? And maybe enhance future CPU/GPU graphs with upper/lower dissonance bounds on each data point?

    EDIT: hey, is that PRIME1 on the front-page picture?!

      • Peldor
      • 8 years ago

      Perhaps you were only joking, but $ spent on a choice would actually be an interesting variable.

      I suspect when you make a $500 purchase the self-validating effect is more significant than when you make a $5 purchase.

        • dpaus
        • 8 years ago

        I agree it would be interesting, but I wouldn’t want to predict a correlation. I’ve seen rabid Apple fanbois become religious over an iPhone while owners of Ferraris seem to actually have heightened respect for the abilities of Lamborghinis.

        EDIT: …and vice-versa! (i.e., no, I’m not a Lamborghini owner)

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 8 years ago

        That’s a whole other ball game, beyond fanboyism.

        [url<]http://www.news-medical.net/news/2008/01/15/34284.aspx[/url<] Somehow or another, we're just programmed to react more positively to something that's more expensive, whether we paid for it or not.

    • JumpingJack
    • 8 years ago

    Actually I disagree with this research, I find this study to be more indicative of the majority of fanboys:

    [url<]http://people.psych.cornell.edu/~dunning/publications/pdf/unskilledandunaware.pdf[/url<] In summary -- most fanboys are idiots and they don't even know they are idiots.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 8 years ago

      I have to lean more in that direction because the problem with fanboys is not that they have a preference they have trouble looking past, but that they’ll do things like post “proof” that contradicts their own point. It’s completely illogical.

      Unfortunately, the Dunning-Kruger effect describes almost everything dumb that people do, and people aren’t aware of it. It’s self-fulfilling lol.

    • Chrispy_
    • 8 years ago

    Kirk survived all episodes and got laid all the time.
    Picard survived all episodes.

      • stratosrally
      • 8 years ago

      But think of the exotic STDs Kirk got from all that alien strange…
      Picard did get wit’ it on the last rerun I saw… but that was a rare event.
      I still think he and Dr.Crusher had something beautiful together.

      • Vhalidictes
      • 8 years ago

      There can’t exist a fair comparison between those characters, though. Patrick Stewart brought his own awesomeness to the (genial and blandly written) Picard character. It’s the actor’s fault that people like TNG.

        • DaveSylvia
        • 8 years ago

        I can honestly say that I love TNG vastly more than the Original Series. I think it’s a generational thing since I was born in 82, long after TOS was canceled. I rarely saw the movies but saw nearly every TNG episode growing up. I recently re-watched the entire series with my fiance and even she had to admit she did enjoy a lot it. Actually thats a lie, she really only enjoyed Data and Picard for their acting chops. Still, I’m a big TNG fan. I swear I’m not a geek.

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 8 years ago

          I was born in 87 and I find TOS to be way more fun, and generally have more ambitious writing. The best episodes in TOS blow away anything that’s happened in Star Trek since. However, the overall quality of TOS was generally low.

    • ALiLPinkMonster
    • 8 years ago

    There’s only one thing of which I am a fanboy, and that’s TR. I refuse to get my tech news from any other source. Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so.

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    What is a bias? I think some people can be more objective then others though. I don’t think something like this means that everyone is extremely subjective or can’t look past their own biases.

    The way you’re talking about the psyche makes it seem more like behaviorism before it was surpassed by the cognitive revolution.

    • TaBoVilla
    • 8 years ago

    Excellent piece Cyril, great read.

    • ClickClick5
    • 8 years ago

    All I kept thinking about was the movie, “Fanboys”.

    Note: If you have not seen it, do watch.

    • Bauxite
    • 8 years ago

    I always thought the term Brandboy was more fitting than Fanboy, because it is more self explanatory.

    I try to stay somewhat brand agnostic, although I definitely detest a few brands (companies) and won’t buy their stuff even if some things they make are good products, and I’ll even admit that particular product by itself is fine. (scumbags can still be skilled, but we’re allowed to have principles too you know)

      • Vhalidictes
      • 8 years ago

      My irrational dismissal of NVidia makes no sense. I know it makes no sense but I can’t fix it 🙁

      I’ve even bought S3 cards in the (distant) past just to avoid getting a GeForce.

        • DaveSylvia
        • 8 years ago

        Yeah that doesn’t make any sense at all! S3!??!?! What DON’T you like Nvidia? Both AMD and Nvidia have solid products but clearly this N-Team rage is going back a few years (to when S3 was psuedo-relevant? hmm..)

          • AssBall
          • 8 years ago

          I had 3 different 6800 GTs die on me in 3 different systems within around 6 months (back when they were >$300. That kinda swayed me toward AMD for a while, but I still completely recommend nVidia cards for other people’s builds without feeling weird about it. I just had some personal bad luck with them, and so personally I am weary with my own builds.

    • Pax-UX
    • 8 years ago

    IMO most of the crazy fanboys these days are paid (directly or indirectly) by the product they’re supporting… the ones that are not are just mentally retarded.

    • ThorAxe
    • 8 years ago

    This is quite true methinks.

    I try not to be a fanboy – especially where computer hardware is concerned. My current dilemma is deciding whether to get 2 6970s or 2 GTX 570s. I’m leaning towards the 6970s due to the 2GB of ram as I game at 2560×1440. Incidentally my case is an Nvidia branded CM Staker which hasn’t had Nvidia cards in it since the 8800GTXs – I just liked the look of it.

    I plead guilty as being anti-Apple though not without some reasoning even if I do own an iPod Touch.

      • stratosrally
      • 8 years ago

      Ummm… as an EVGA fanboy, I say check out the new 2.5GB GTX 570 HD they have!

    • Krogoth
    • 8 years ago

    Sisko pwns them both. There’s a reason why he is refer to as “The Sisko”. 😉

    Sisko is a pretty cool guy, punches Q doesn’t afraid of anything.

    Anyway, nice write-up.

      • ThorAxe
      • 8 years ago

      Shatner FTW. 🙂

        • Krogoth
        • 8 years ago

        [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-yy2URAYqU[/url<] [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NN3MGN899yE[/url<]

          • ThorAxe
          • 8 years ago

          LOL!

          • anotherengineer
          • 8 years ago

          What about Spock?

          [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBXal1GAA4A[/url<]

      • Palek
      • 8 years ago

      Adama would kick their (Picard, Kirk etc) collective butts!!! 🙂

      (Check it out, I started a Star Trek vs BSG fanboy war.)

    • trackerben
    • 8 years ago

    The big predisposition of humans is inertia, which we subconsciously know is an existential burden. Absent external drivers (boss or mission factors), inertia is best countered by acknowledging threats to one’s life, loves, and image in a manner which does not up physical stress and yet gets going that part of mind devoted to fight-or-flight. Hence the conscious resort to “fanboyist” fighting behavior, provocation in an arena less fists. It evolves when an inert develops opportunities to respond in less stressful ways which still offer the possibility of exuberance and thus rejuvenation.

    Hence forums, the easiest way to enter into argumentative challenges exposing one’s held beliefs to ridicule or acceptance by peers. It’s like therapy to the boredom, madness, and perceived irrelevance of humdrum existence. Have sympathy for and be kind and gentle to those in need, for they are legion, and we are each a member on occasion.

      • Arag0n
      • 8 years ago

      And that’s why Democracy fails in front of Dictatorships developing Industry and Re-Shapping a country and its cities. Any democratic country will vote to keep everything as it is (or close what seems to place in danger the life they know), instead of changing the country and the cities. That’s why only in Asia and Middle East, non democratic countries keep changing so fast. They are not moved by peoples ratings biased by a lifetime, they are moved by economical and convenience reasons.

      As cold as could be say “economical reasons”, when we are talking about city shapping it means less requirement for cars, less travel time between home and work, more shopping and services areas and better interconnection between the offices of different companies. In the end, all you would like to have but you won’t as long as I point it as “Economical Reasons”.

      Don’t get me wrong, I like democracy, but there is a reason about why democracy keeps going to some kind of dictatorship at the end… and it’s not because there is a bad guy every-while, but because people gets tired of a never changing, never moving societies. Specially when your country becomes poor…. usually there is just a small part of the society (5-30%) that wants changes, and wants the changes now, and they can’t get done what they want by democratic means.

      PD: Before everyone thinks I think dictatorship it’s the correct way, I just mean that we should be more willing to accept changes. It’s a required thing for a healthy democracy. If we don’t keep changes coming, at some point radical groups will make the changes happen by force.

        • trackerben
        • 8 years ago

        The ancients saw pure democracy as the most unstable form of government. Modern republics governed under the rule of law and harboring hellenic cultures who respect property and individual rights, run by the democratically elected agents of a sovereign electorate according to predictable terms of succession, have been the most successful so far. But failure or defeat is always 2 or 3 generations away.

        Inertia is a human thing, but of all peoples today’s chinese are the group who seem the most attuned to hope and change.. In my trips to southern China I’ve witnessed first-hand the dynamism of the population. Everytime we do business there it seems like a new city is sprouting up along some new superhighway. Despite pervasive corruption and massive social unrest, the restrictions on movements and political freedom, the widespread inequities and injustices of a system in transition, most chinese are seeing their country progress incredibly in all spheres. Politically and economically and socially it’s like they are a another country compared to pre-1970s. They have advanced away from old despotic traditions to the point that there are now apparently more practicing christians there than in Europe, particularly among the ruling classes. Which bodes well given how Judeo-Christian transformations uplifted hellenic civilization historically (see White, Barzun, et al) which ironically evolved from mostly non-democratic traditions.

    • rxc6
    • 8 years ago

    Excellent article Cyril. This seems related to the way that people rationalize their choices.

    • adisor19
    • 8 years ago

    Interesting. I have seen this behaviour constantly but i never quite could put my finger on it. This little article clearly shows i’m not crazy 🙂

    Adi

      • rxc6
      • 8 years ago

      You’re definitely not crazy… just another above average fanboy 😛

        • cegras
        • 8 years ago

        Just another average human being.

    • willmore
    • 8 years ago

    I’m curious if/how this is realted to confirmation bias. In that case one would not be asked about the particular item that one chose first, but an item related in some way.

    For example, if one were to pick the GTX 560, would this mechanism effect which brand one would chose for the next card?

      • trackerben
      • 8 years ago

      Other factors are at play, like search costs. If you’ve invested time in understanding NVidia’s product spectrum, it may be discouraging to have to acquire the same level of expertise for AMD stuff when comparing before buying. Surmounting the constant stream of tiny frictional challenges is the motive of ordinary life.

      • CaptTomato
      • 8 years ago

      It must as long as the experience was favourable.
      One of the things I’ve noticed about fannyboy debates/debacles, is that the subject matter can shift all over the place, of course, this allows for expression rather than factual confirmation, so maybe fannyboys simply enjoy keyboards, lol.

    • juampa_valve_rde
    • 8 years ago

    Very interesting read Cyril! Thanks.

    • trackerben
    • 8 years ago

    Seriously, the remedy to the treason of choice is double-blind empirical testing by authoritative third parties. Not all products or services are subject to these methods though.

    • JustAnEngineer
    • 8 years ago

    Fanboys .EQ. Monkeys
    :LOL:

      • gregzeng
      • 8 years ago

      Very interesting thread. Now checking “Dunning–Kruger effect” which seems the base of the Brand Boy effect. Most mothers of criminals do not believe their children are bad, crippled, etc. This follows the Brand Loyalty principle.

      In my PC life, my loyalties switched: Intel 8080, Zilog Z80, Motorola 32000 series (Apple, Commodore, Atari), AMD, Intel 80286, AMD, Intel 80386, AMD, Intel 80486, Intel i3, i5, …. next?

      Call it “Future Shock” … informed & intelligent people switch brand loyalties. My deceased dad used to vote Conservative, until he ran charities. Then he became Leader-Loyal, depending who had the superior technology, as far as his immediate goals could be achieved.

      Apple fanboys, guru-followers (Lady Gagas, etc) are so lacking in telligence & self esteem, they are slow-learner trend-obsessives, like my father used to be. Don’t put down slow learners. They are good cannon-fodder, speaking from one of my past professions, Australian army officer.

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