The effect of conspicuous consumption on men's testosterone levels
Using evolutionary psychology as a theoretical framework, it is argued that conspicuous consumption serves as a means by which men communicate their social status to prospective mates. Accordingly, men's endocrinological responses, particularly their testosterone levels, are responsive to fluctuations in their status as triggered by acts of conspicuous consumption. Study 1 reports that men's testosterone levels increased and decreased partially (directionally), after driving an expensive sports car and an old family sedan, respectively. Additionally, the location of the drive, either a busy downtown area or a semi-deserted highway, partially moderated this response. Study 2 demonstrates that when men's social status was threatened by the wealth displays of a male confederate in the presence of a female moderator, their testosterone levels increased. This is suggestive of an evolved mechanism for responding to intra-sexual challenges. Collectively, these constitute the first set of studies to measure hormonal outcomes in consumer behavior.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 110 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (November)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/obhdp|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Saad, Gad & Gill, Tripat & Nataraajan, Rajan, 2005. "Are laterborns more innovative and nonconforming consumers than firstborns? A Darwinian perspective," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 58(7), pages 902-909, July.
- Belk, Russell W & Bahn, Kenneth D & Mayer, Robert N, 1982. " Developmental Recognition of Consumption Symbolism," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 4-17, June.
- Kerwin Kofi Charles & Erik Hurst & Nikolai Roussanov, 2009.
"Conspicuous Consumption and Race,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 425-467.
- Angela Fontes & Jessie Fan, 2006. "The Effects of Ethnic Identity on Household Budget Allocation to Status Conveying Goods," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 27(4), pages 643-663, December.
- Gad Saad, 2006. "Applying evolutionary psychology in understanding the Darwinian roots of consumption phenomena," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(2-3), pages 189-201.
- White, Roderick E. & Thornhill, Stewart & Hampson, Elizabeth, 2006. "Entrepreneurs and evolutionary biology: The relationship between testosterone and new venture creation," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 21-34, May.
- John Tooby & Leda Cosmides & Michael E. Price, 2006. "Cognitive adaptations for n-person exchange: the evolutionary roots of organizational behavior," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(2-3), pages 103-129.
- Luuk Van Kempen, 2003. "Fooling the eye of the beholder: deceptive status signalling among the poor in developing countries," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(2), pages 157-177.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:110:y:2009:i:2:p:80-92. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.