The role of social status and testosterone in human conspicuous consumption

Wu, Y, Eisenegger, C, Sivanathan, N, Crockett, M J and Clark, L (2017) The role of social status and testosterone in human conspicuous consumption. Scientific Reports, 7 (1). ISSN 2045-2322 OPEN ACCESS

Abstract

Conspicuous consumption refers to the phenomenon where individuals purchase goods for signalling social status, rather than for its inherent functional value. This study (n = 166 male participants) investigated how the outcome of a social competition influenced conspicuous consumption, and its association with competition-induced testosterone reactivity. Winning a competition increased both explicit and implicit preferences for higher-status vs. lower-status products, using both natural stimuli (prestigious cars) and laboratory-tagged stimuli of matched value (university T-shirts). Competition also influenced behaviour in an Ultimatum Game, such that winners were more likely to reject unfair offers. Competition outcomes had no discernible influence upon salivary testosterone levels, and neither basal testosterone levels nor testosterone reactivity induced by competition predicted the conspicuous consumption measures. Our data indicate that winning a competition lead to more dominant behaviour, albeit in a manner that is not statistically regulated by testosterone, possibly through increased feeling of entitlement.

More Details

Item Type: Article
Subject Areas: Organisational Behaviour
Additional Information: © 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature
Subjects: C > Competition
P > People (Behavioural science)
B > Biology
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 10:27
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2019 19:55
URI: http://lbsresearch.london.edu/id/eprint/888
More

Export and Share


Download

Accepted Version - Text
  • Available under License
Published Version - Text
  • Available under License

Statistics

Altmetrics
View details on Dimensions' website

Downloads from LBS Research Online

View details

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item