Track 1: Spending Money
Eesha Sharma (San Diego State University)

1A. Luxury & Status

Friday, March 4
9:30am – 11:00am EST
Discussant: Anat Keinan (Boston University)
MC: Silvia Bellezza (Columbia University)
Calendar Invite: Add to calendar
Student Coordinator: Rin Yoon (Cornell University) (

Competitive Papers

Expressing Passion for Luxury Restores Warmth and Enhances Liking
Authors: SungJin Jung (INSEAD), Charlene Chen (Nanyang Technological University), Andy Yap (INSEAD)
Presenting Author: Charlene Chen (Nanyang Technological University)
Past research suggests that consumers incur a warmth penalty when using luxury products—they are judged by others as having low warmth and likability. This penalty leads to unfavorable outcomes for luxury consumers. How can this warmth penalty be alleviated? We propose a novel and counterintuitive way of restoring warmth for luxury consumers. We demonstrate that although many luxury consumers avoid sharing their passion for luxury with others, such passion expression actually restores their perceived warmth and consequently makes them more likable. We further show that this warmth restoration occurs because displaying passion for luxury enhances perceived authenticity.
Word-of-Mouth Marketing Can Backfire for Luxury Products: Diminished Feelings of Uniqueness Lower Luxury Product Attitudes
Authors: Seo Young Myaeng (Northwestern University), Jacob Teeny (Northwestern University)
Presenting Author: Seo Young Myaeng (Northwestern University)
Contrary to the plethora of research showing a positive effect of word-of-mouth (WOM) recommendations on product attitudes, we show that luxury products encountered through WOM are actually evaluated more negatively than those encountered through consumers’ own discovery. This effect emerges because WOM reduces the feelings of uniqueness elicited by luxury products, an essential characteristic of luxury items. Across multiple studies, product types, and scenarios, we demonstrate the negative impact of WOM for luxury products and the mediating role of feelings of uniqueness.
When High Status Backfires: The Effect of Donation Requests from the Wealthiest in Society On Generosity
Authors: Aziza Jones (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Nailya Ordabayeva (Boston College), Rajiv Vaidyanathan (University of Minnesota Duluth)
Presenting Author: Aziza Jones (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Four studies demonstrate that consumers donate less when a solicitation to do so comes from a highly wealthy (vs. average wealth) person. Consumers see a solicitor’s wealth as relatively less legitimate than an average person’s wealth because they are perceived to unfairly benefit from economic inequality. They are therefore deemed illegitimate as donation models, which ultimately lowers consumers’ generosity. The effect is moderated by beliefs that the existing economic system and inequality are justified and the situational belief that the solicitor’s wealth is justified (via perceptions that the solicitor’s wealth came from hard work and humble beginnings).
When and How Slow Motion Makes Products More Luxurious
Authors: SungJin Jung (INSEAD), David Dubois (INSEAD)
Presenting Author: SungJin Jung (INSEAD)
Eleven experiments reveal that a video ad depicting a product in slow-motion (vs. regular-speed) increases the luxury perceptions of (and subsequently boosts consumers’ desire for) the featured product/brand. Slow-motion enhances luxury perceptions via a two-step process: (1) slow-motion increases consumers’ feelings of immersion, which prompt them to (2) ascribe greater hedonic value to the product, ultimately leading to higher luxury perceptions. The effect attenuates when video blurriness and buffering impair the immersive experience of slow-motion, among consumers very weakly or very strongly predisposed to experience immersion, and (for food videos) among hungry consumers who already view food as highly hedonic.

Flash Talks

Novelty and Pain of Payment
Authors: Deborah Abrams (Bain & Company), Samuel Bond (Georgia Institute of Technology), Selin Atalay (Frankfurt School of Finance and Management)
Presenting Author: Deborah Abrams (Bain & Company)
Innovative payment formats continue to emerge; it is important to understand how these new formats impact consumer experiences, attitudes and behavior. Our research identifies one critical variable, perceived novelty, and considers how the perceived novelty of various payment formats impacts pain of payment and other psychological aspects of spending. Through five studies, we show that higher perceived novelty leads to lower pain of payment. Additionally, we show that payment novelty does not solely stem from technological advances.
Negative Rewards Balance: How a Negative Rewards Balance and Its Framing Affect Credit Card Usage
Authors: Jinwoo Kim (Carnegie Mellon University), Jin Kim (Yale University)
Presenting Author: Jin Kim (Yale University)
Rewards have a significant influence on adoption and usage of credit cards. A feature of rewards sometimes experienced by consumers but seldom studied by researchers is a negative rewards balance, which typically arises when previously earned rewards are revoked due to refunds. Although a reference-dependence account predicts that a negative rewards balance would motivate consumers to use the card more, we find the opposite across four experiments (N=2,334): a negative rewards balance reduces consumers’ likelihood of using the card. We also demonstrate that framing a negative rewards balance as owing points can mitigate the reduction in credit card usage.


What Can Pitch Tells about the Product? The Role of Audio Pitch on Status Perception
Authors: Kaijun Zhang (Xiamen University), Jun Ye (Xiamen University)
Presenting Author: Kaijun Zhang (Xiamen University)
Marketing communications often contain auditory stimuli that can influence consumers’ processing objectives and inference about omitted attributes. This work proposes that individuals project status meanings to the voice pitch, with low voice pitch seen as having higher status relative to high voice pitch. With evidence from three experiments, we proved that lower voice pitch used in marketing communications leads to a more positive evaluation of the status-signaling product. Such effect is due to consumers perceive higher products’ status value from the status-signaling product advertising in lower voice pitch, and thus satisfy their pursuit of higher status.
The Status Signaling Function of Wasting Food
Authors: Evelynn Devos (Ghent University), Daphne Ribbers (Ghent University), Mario Pandelaere (Virginia Tech), Anneleen Van Kerckhove (Ghent University)
Presenting Author: Daphne Ribbers (Ghent University)
While the consequences of wasting food have been researched on a large scale­­––that is for the environment, economy, and society––it remains unclear what the social consequences are for the individual who wastes food. Results show that wasting­––both cheap and expensive––food increases one’s financial status, yet also decreases one’s social status in the eyes of others. Observers ascribe less social status to an individual who wastes food, because observers think this individual cares less about others. Considering perceived social status is relevant as it has been found to impact one’s social interactions and subjective well-being.
Return to schedule