48-Hour T-Shirt No. 2: “We Have The Same Birthday”

Posted by Rob Walker on December 8, 2008
Posted Under: 48-Hour T-shirt

You’ve read about the 48-Hour T-Shirt in Core77, PSFK, Design Observer, Coolhunting, Coudal, or We Are The Market. And now…


The second 48-Hour T-Shirt is now no longer available. That’s the design, above: Two colors on a brown American Apparel 4.3-ounce fine cotton athletic fit T.

A summary of the research inspiring the design, below, is also available in PDF form, here.

A psychological study offers an interesting lesson in “false consensus.”

The research involved dividing into two groups; members of each were asked to read an essay about Rasputin, and then asked to evaluate their feelings about him. One group was given an essay that noted Rasputin’s correct birthday. The other was given the identical essay, but the date of his birthday was changed — to be the same day as that of the reader.

The latter (same birthday) group evaluated Rasputin notably more favorably than the control group did.

Mark R. Leary cites this research in The Curse of The Self, noting that if our opinions can be affected by such a “minor, egocentric matter,” it should be no surprise that “factors even more intimately related to our views of ourselves also influence our judgments of other people.”

So: Perhaps if you wear this T-shirt, you will make a good impression.

Design by Greg Eckler (www.theviciouscircus.com), MFA student in the graphic design department of Savannah College of Art and Design.

The T-shirt “I Show How You Feel” is no longer available. Time is up! Inquiries about your order: Please contact the designer directly, at: greckler@theviciouscircus.com.

The aim of The 48-Hour T-shirt Project is to prod consumers to think more about our own behavior, about how we can be manipulated, and about how we manipulate ourselves. Yes, doing this by way of products may be seen as either ironic, clever, or hypocritical. That’s (part of) the point.

Sign up to be notified via email when third and final design debuts on Monday, December 15, here.

* * *

The 48-Hour T-Shirt Project is proudly sponsored by The Murketing Organization, and Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are, recently named one of the five top nonfiction books of 2008 by Salon; one of the 10 best business books of the year by Fast Company, and recommended by Core77 as one of its 77 gifts under $77.

Further diversion may be found at MKTG Tumblr, and the Consumed Facebook page.

Reader Comments

The probability of two people in a room having the same birthday becomes greater than 50% when there are 23 people in a room. You’ll have to email Sam Chiu for a complete explanation: http://www-leland.stanford.edu/~samchiu/chapter1.htm

So, the next time you are at a party and there are more than 23 people there, go for it!!!

Would women feel comfortable wearing that shirt?

Written By Dr. Horowitz on December 8th, 2008 @ 11:37 am

The latter question is something that only occurred to me about an hour ago. And I don’t know….

Thanks for the data on bday odds.

Written By Rob Walker on December 8th, 2008 @ 5:01 pm


  1. ? ???? ????? ???…  on July 8th, 2009 @ 3:02 pm
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