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[Archived] The science of fanboyism

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The science of fanboyism

by Cyril Kowaliski — 9:35 PM on July 14, 2011

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.

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Good article for any messageboard :P

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