Don't hate Hummer owners: They're defending America's frontier lifestyle

Many green-minded Americans can think of lots of reasons to knock Hummer owners these days. For starters, there's all the gas their road hogs burn: about 13 miles per gallon in the city for the H3 with four-wheel drive. Then there's the sheer size of the things. At 4,700 pounds for some models, it's like a 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo on wheels.

The rage -- jealousy? -- is so profound among Hummer critics, there are now plenty of backlash websites to channel it all, with one displaying thousands of photographs of people with their middle fingers directed at Hummer vehicles.

But flip Hummers the bird all you want. Owners of the General Motors brand (for now at least) truly believe they're on a mission to defend America's frontier lifestyle against anti-American critics, finds a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research (yes, people do get paid to study this stuff).