A Penny Saved is a Partner Earned: The Romantic Appeal of Savers
Jenny G. Olson
University of Michigan - Ross School of Business
The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan
June 5, 2013
The desire to attract a romantic partner often stimulates conspicuous consumption, but we find that people who chronically save are more romantically attractive than people who chronically spend. Saving up to make a particular purchase also enhances one’s romantic appeal, as long as the planned purchase is not materialistic. Savers are viewed as possessing greater general self-control than spenders, and this perception mediates the relationship between spending habits and attractiveness. Because general self-control also encourages healthy behaviors that promote physical attractiveness, savers are viewed as more physically attractive as well. However, general self-control is not always coveted in potential mates: dispositional and situational factors that increase the need for stimulation reduce the preference for savers. Nevertheless, capitalizing on the general preference for savers over spenders, people are more likely to deceptively describe themselves as savers when completing a dating profile than when completing a private questionnaire. Our work sheds light on how a fundamental consumption behavior (spending and saving decisions) influences the formation of romantic relationships.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 51
Keywords: Decision Making, Interpersonal Relationships, Shopping, Consumer Behavior, Consumer Financial Decision Making, Attraction
JEL Classification: M31, C91working papers series
Date posted: June 19, 2013
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