A new Harvard business school study confirms that if an individual is clearly of a particular quality, they don't need to worry about proving it.
Reminds me of the anthropologists who told me a story about class in Britain...'I saw a man weeding his front garden, and noticed he had several garden gnomes. "Wow", I thought, "I didn't know working class people still lived on this street", I smiled at the man and said hi and he said "morning" back. Duh! How silly of me. Of course - he was upper class and the gnomes were ironic. How did I know this? Simple. A middle class person would never own gnomes for fear of being mistaken for someone who actually liked them!'
Anyone who has felt like the odd duck of the group can take heart from new research from Harvard Business School that says sticking out in distinct ways can lend you an air of presence or influence. Standing out in certain circumstances, like wearing sweats in a luxury store, also appears to boost an individual's standing. One obvious way people signal what the researchers called "status" is through visible markers, like what they wear and what they buy. Previous research has largely examined why people buy or wear branded items.