6 Scientific Studies Reveal Why We Buy Needless Luxury Items

Here’s a compilation of fascinating studies on why people spend on expensive things. While I belief in the benefits of some minimalism, I don’t subscribe to the minimalist idea that all conspicuous or excessive spending is bad. Clearly, there’s a strong evolutionary reason for why we do it. However, as Dr. Geoffrey Miller says, there’s likely better ways accomplish the same goals of standing out than brute force spending. Take a look.

Conspicuous Consumption, Relationships, and Rivals: Women’s Luxury Products as Signals to Other Women

Past research shows that luxury products can function to boost self-esteem, express identity, and signal status. We propose that luxury products also have important signaling functions in relationships. Whereas men use conspicuous luxury products to attract mates, women use such products to deter female rivals. Drawing on both evolutionary and cultural perspectives, five experiments investigated how women’s luxury products function as a signaling system directed at other women who pose threats to their romantic relationships. Findings showed that activating a motive to guard one’s mate triggered women to seek and display lavish possessions. Additional studies revealed that women use pricey possessions to signal that their romantic partner is especially devoted to them. In turn, flaunting designer handbags and shoes was effective at deterring other women from poaching a relationship partner. This research identifies a novel function of conspicuous consumption, revealing that luxury products and brands play important roles in relationships.

The Rival Wears Prada: Luxury Consumption as a Female Competition Strategy

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By Will Chou

I am the the founder of this site and I am grateful you are here to be part of this awesome community. I help hard-working Asian American Millennials get rich doing work they love.

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