Monday, December 07, 2009

Luxury Ate My Morals

From the Ideas Section of the Boston Sunday Globe:

Luxury ate my morals

IF POWER corrupts, then what does luxury do? In a new study, business school researchers fi nd that it doesn't take much for luxury to do its thing. Students reviewed pictures of either luxury or nonluxury shoes and watches. Later, they were asked to evaluate several business scenarios from the perspective of a CEO. Students who had been exposed to the luxury items were significantly more willing to produce a polluting car, sell buggy software, and sell a violence-inducing video game. In addition, these students were also less likely to identify prosocial words in a letter scramble. In other words, priming people with luxury makes them more selfish. The authors wonder if managers make different decisions "at a luxury resort as opposed to a modest conference room."

Chua, R. & Zou, X., "The Devil Wears Prada? Effects of Exposure to Luxury Goods on Cognition and Decision Making," Harvard University (November 2009).


Suren said...

Luxury should be defined as objects or services not essential to human beings, including those which include superfluous functions and superfluous design features whose purpose is to raise prices with the goal of limiting access, thus transforming them (partially or completely) into symbols of wealth. In other words, luxury is a symbol that gives visual proof of its owner's social importance.

Suren said...
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