If you have ever felt like you give a better presentation when wearing an expensive designer suit, it might not be your imagination.
A recent study conducted by researchers at Notre Dame, the University of Kentucky and Penn State found that using brand-name gear can provide a noticeable placebo effect that could boost performance. In the study, researchers found that participants' performance improved by about 20% after being told that they were using a Nike golf putter rather than a no-name club.
And this effect isn't limited to the physical: the researchers also found that subjects who wore earplugs while taking a math quiz did better when they were told they were using high-performance 3M earplugs. The performance bump for this part of the study was also about 20%.
In another study in 2008, published in the Journal of Marketing Research, researchers at Duke University and the University of Waterloo found that exposure to logos can actually cause people to take on traits they might associate with a brand's corporate identity.
Similar results were found in a 2011 Boston College study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology. The study found that exposure to a Red Bull logo primed test subjects to act more extreme.