Direct and vicarious conspicuous consumption: Identification with low-status groups increases the desire for high-status goods

Philip J. Mazzocco*, Derek Rucker, Adam D. Galinsky, Eric Anderson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current research examines whether direct and vicarious identification with a low-status group affects consumers' desire for objects associated with status. Experiment 1 found that individuals who belonged to and identified with a status social category associated with relatively lower status (Blacks) exhibited an enhanced desire for high-status products compared to Blacks who did not identify with their race or individuals who belonged to a social category associated with higher status (Whites). In Experiments 2 and 3, White participants led to vicariously identify through perspective taking with Blacks (Experiment 2), or a low-status occupational group (Experiment 3) exhibited an increased desire for high-status products. Experiment 4 provided meditational evidence for a status based explanation for the relationship between identification with a low-status group and a desire for high-status products. The present work makes new inroads into understanding one factor that might lead minorities to engage in greater conspicuous consumption and provides evidence that conspicuous consumption can be elicited vicariously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-528
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Consumer Psychology
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012

Keywords

  • Consumption
  • Identification
  • Race
  • Status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Marketing

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