Peacocks, Porsches and Thorstein Veblen: Romantic Motivations For Conspicuous Consumption

Three studies examined the links between conspicuous consumption and consumers’ mating strategies. Testing hypotheses derived from costly signaling theory and sexual strategies theory, conspicuous consumption’s function as a costly sexual signal is explored. Choosing more conspicuous products was predicted by favorable attitudes towards having sex without commitment among men primed with romantic stimuli. Observers perceived men to have more unrestricted sexual attitudes if they conspicuously consumed. Discussion considers implications of evolutionary psychological theories for enhancing understanding of motivations for conspicuous consumption and consumers’ impression management processes.


Jill Sundie, Vladas Griskevicius, Douglas Kenrick, and Joshua Tybur (2008) ,"Peacocks, Porsches and Thorstein Veblen: Romantic Motivations For Conspicuous Consumption", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 97-100.


Jill Sundie, University of Houston
Vladas Griskevicius, Arizona State University
Douglas Kenrick, Arizona State University
Joshua Tybur, University of New Mexico


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35 | 2008

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


Magical Anchors: Initial Focal Attention Drives the Direction and Content of Essence Transfer

Thomas Kramer, University of California Riverside, USA
Wenxia Guo, Acadia University
Zhilin Yang, City University of Hong Kong

Read More


More than just a number: The negative effect of 100% claims

Nira Munichor, Bar-Ilan University
Liat Levontin, Technion University, Israel

Read More


Q8. Avatars, Consumers and Possession in Online Gaming

Feihong Hu, Lancaster University, UK
Xin Zhao, Lancaster University, UK
Chihling Liu, Lancaster University, UK

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.