This research predicts that luxury versus non-luxury self-display enhances status and produces advantages in human social interactions. Across three experiments, findings support the following conclusions. First, luxury versus non-luxury brand logos associate positively with displayer wealth and status. Second, people wearing clothes with luxury brand logos receive preferential treatment over those not wearing luxury brand logos. Third, a person wearing a luxury brand logo while soliciting charitable donations receives larger contributions than a person not wearing a luxury brand logo. Fourth, cross-gender contexts are more effective than same-gender contexts for requester and target in influencing consumer donation behavior. Conclusion: luxury self-display may increase deference and compliance in presentations-of-self because conspicuous displays of luxury qualify as a costly signaling trait that elicits status-dependent favorable treatment in human social interactions.
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