The Devil Wears Prada? Effects of Exposure to Luxury Goods on Cognition and Decision Making
16 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2009
Date Written: November 2, 2009
Although the concept of luxury has been widely discussed in social theories and marketing research, relatively little research has directly examined the psychological consequences of exposure to luxury goods. This paper demonstrates that mere exposure to luxury goods increases individuals’ propensity to prioritize self-interests over others’ interests, influencing the decisions they make. Experiment 1 found that participants primed with luxury goods were more likely than those primed with non-luxury goods to endorse business decisions that benefit themselves but could potentially harm others. Using a word recognition task, Experiment 2 further demonstrates that exposure to luxury is likely to activate self-interest but not necessarily the tendency to harm others. Implications of these findings were discussed.
Keywords: Luxury goods, Cognition, Decision making, Self-interest
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