Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
Share Share
  |  Connect with Us: 
Text Size

Health News

Buying Luxury Items on Credit May Be Ego Booster

Buying Luxury Items on Credit May Be Ego Booster


THURSDAY, May 19 (HealthDay News) -- When people need a self-esteem boost, they might buy high status items and use a credit card when they make those expensive purchases, according to new research.

In the study, volunteers completed a meaningless computer test, and then some of the participants were told that they did poorly on the test, suggesting they weren't very smart, while others were told they did well on the test.

All of the volunteers were then asked how they might pay for a consumer product they have been considering purchasing. The people whose egos had been hurt were much more likely to say they would use a credit card, the researchers found.

In another experiment, 75 college students were told to think about buying a pair of exclusive, high status designer jeans, while 75 other students were told to think about buying normal, everyday jeans. All of the students were then given the computer test and were told they had done poorly or well.

Students who thought about expensive jeans and were told they did poorly on the computer test reported they were willing to pay 30 percent more for the high status jeans and were over 60 percent more likely to say they would use a credit card to buy the jeans.

Students who thought about everyday jeans and were told they did poorly on the test weren't willing to pay more for the jeans and weren't more likely to use a credit card instead of cash, according to researchers Niro Sivanathan of the London Business School and Nathan Pettit of Cornell University.

The study is scheduled for publication in an upcoming edition of the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

It's normal for people to desire luxury items after their ego is threatened because those items can reassure people of their worth, the study authors noted. And they're more likely to use a credit card because parting with cash can be psychologically painful, the researchers explained in a journal news release.

The studies are part of a psychological examination of how loose lending policies -- high-interest loans aimed at lower-income consumers, for instance -- can have disastrous consequences, the news release said.

More information

Mental Health America outlines how to live life well.

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


Latest News

Crouse Hospital Appoints Chief Information Officer
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >