Do We Really Want to Keep Up With the Joneses? a Closer Look At Luxury, Concealment, Social Interaction, and Justification

Jannine D Lasaleta , University of Minnesota, USA
Jane Ebert, University of Minnesota, USA
Christine Bennett , University of St. Thomas, USA
Theory suggests that people typically buy luxury to signal wealth and status. However, the present research demonstrates that people sometimes prefer to conceal luxury, for self-presentation concerns. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrate that people sometimes prefer to conceal indulgent purchases or information about purchases from others, especially information on cost. Studies 3 and 4 examine the effect that describing an indulgent purchase to others has on what consumers say and think, and find that consumers more frequently mention the cost of the item, but take care to present this information in ways that should minimize negative judgment by others.
[ to cite ]:
Jannine D Lasaleta , Jane Ebert, and Christine Bennett (2010) ,"Do We Really Want to Keep Up With the Joneses? a Closer Look At Luxury, Concealment, Social Interaction, and Justification", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 840-841 .