© Photographer: Mariia Sniegirova |
It means more to people to own a luxury product or brand than to have the privilege of simply using one. Just using an affordable luxury item you don’t own can, in fact, dampen the feel good factor that normally surrounds such products.
To test the link between luxury consumption and subjective well-being, researchers Liselot Hudders and Mario Pandelaere of Ghent University in Belgium presented 307 study participants with luxury and ordinary versions of either a durable pen, or a consumable block of chocolate. One group of respondents knew they could take the chocolate or pen home with them, while the other only had the opportunity to test or taste it. All the participants evaluated the products on a number of dimensions, including quality, exclusivity and luxuriance, and also answered a questionnaire about their own sense of well-being.
The respondents who were able to keep the luxury versions of the products they tested were more satisfied with life than the participants who received the low-budget versions. On the other hand, the well-being of participants who could not keep the luxury versions they evaluated was significantly lower than that of respondents who evaluated the plain versions. Another interesting finding from the non-ownership category is that these participants were significantly more satisfied with their life after using the chocolate than after using the pen.
This research was published in the Applied Research in Quality of Life journal.
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