Luxusgüter und ihre evolutionäre Einordnung waren hier schon häufiger Thema:
Eine weitere interessante Studie beleuchtet das Verhältnis von Frauen zu Luxusgütern:
Past research shows that luxury products can function to boost self-esteem, express identity, and signal status. We propose that luxury products also have important signaling functions in relationships. Whereas men use conspicuous luxury products to attract mates, women use such products to deter female rivals. Drawing on both evolutionary and cultural perspectives, five experiments investigated how women’s luxury products function as a signaling system directed at other women who pose threats to their romantic relationships. Finding showed that activating a motive to guard one’s mate triggered women to seek and display lavish possessions. Additional studies revealed that women use pricey possessions to signal that their romantic partner is especially devoted to them. In turn, flaunting designer handbags and shoes was effective at deterring other women from poaching a relationship partner. This research identifies a novel function of conspicuous consumption, revealing that luxury products and brands play important roles in relationships.
Quelle: Conspicuous Consumption, Relationships, and Rivals: Women’s Luxury Products as Signals to Other Women
Die Theorie der Studie wird in dieser noch einmal wie folgt zusammengefasst:
We propose that women use luxury products to signal to other women that their romantic partner is especially devoted to them. We hypothesize that women’s flaunting of luxury possessions therefore functions as an intra-sexual signaling system: women use luxury products to send signals to other women in order to deter those other women from poaching their romantic partner. The current research investigates whether such a system exists and how it works.
Die Theorie wäre also, dass Luxusgüter gleichzeitig signalisieren, dass die Frau einen hohen Status hat und es insoweit gefährlich ist, sich mit ihr anzulegen bzw. dass ihr Partner sie schätzt, da er ihr ansonsten solche Luxusgüter nicht überlassen würde.
Dazu aus der Studie:
The women were asked to “Imagine you are in a relationship and you go to a social event with your partner.” They then responded to four different yes/no questions regarding whether the women themselves believed that other women would infer that their relationship partner was more devoted to them based on the outfit and jewelry that the woman chose to wear. Specifically, the women were asked: “Do you think some women might judge that your partner cares about you more [is more committed to you] when they see you wearing a designer [more expensive] outfit and jewelry?” Results showed that more than half of the women indicated that they believe that other women would infer that their relationship partner was more devoted to them based on their own 10 outfit and jewelry. Specifically, a majority of women believed that other women would infer that a more expensive outfit and jewelry indicates that their partner cares more about them (61.8%) and is more committed (53.9%). Similarly, a majority of women believed that other women would infer that a designer outfit and jewelry indicates that their partner cares more about them (52.6%) and is more committed (55.3%). The findings from the pilot study indicate that over half of the women surveyed believe that their own displays of luxury products can be used to signal to other women how much their partner is devoted to them
Es scheint also schon einmal der Glaube daran vorhanden zu sein, dass Luxusgüter ihre Partnerschaft als fester darstellen können. Unter steinzeitlichen Bedingungen wären solche Gaben sicherlich auch ein guter Indikator dafür, insbesondere da damals Luxusgüter gerade nicht in einem Supermarkt oder einem Geschäft gekauft werden konnten.
Die Thesen aus der Studie:
- H1: A woman with luxurious possessions should be perceived by other women as having a more devoted partner.
- H2: Activating a mate guarding motive should trigger women’s desire for conspicuous luxury goods.
- H3: A motive to guard a mate should lead women to seek publically conspicuous luxury products but not less conspicuous products that are generally used in private.
- H4: A mate guarding motive should lead women to seek conspicuous luxury products when the products can be seen by other women who pose a threat to the relationship.
Und die Ergebnisse:
- Consistent with H1, findings showed that a woman was perceived as having a more devoted partner when she had designer compared to non-designer outfit and accessories (Ms = 5.40 vs. 4.82; t(67) = 2.01, p = .048, d = .24). Just as the majority of women have a lay belief that luxury goods can indicate how much their partner is devoted to them (see Pilot Study), Study 1 shows that other women infer that a man is more devoted to his partner when she has luxurious products.
- Study 2 found that a mate guarding motive increased women’s desire for conspicuous consumption, as measured by wanting larger luxury brand logos. A mate guarding motive led women to draw luxury brand logos that were about twice the size compared to those in the other conditions (see Figure 1), and the effect of mate guarding persisted even when compared to control conditions that elicited similar levels of negative affect and arousal.
- In summary, despite varying the method of how a mate guarding motive was elicited, Study 3 conceptually replicated the key finding from Study 2, showing that a mate guarding motive triggers women’s desire for conspicuous luxury products. In addition, Study 3 showed that mate guarding does not simply lead women to want any product, but is instead specific to products used for publically visible conspicuous consumption. Finally, Study 3 ruled out two possible alternative explanations for the effect of mate guarding, showing that this effect is not driven by threat to one’s self-esteem or by the mere presence of another woman.
- In summary, Study 4 found that activating a mate guarding motive once again led women to seek luxury products. When women felt that their romantic relationship was threatened, they not only desired to spend more on designer handbags and shoes, but they also actually spent more money for a chance to win a real $200 luxury spending spree. Importantly, women sought conspicuous goods only when the products could be seen by another woman who posed a potential threat to her romantic relationship. Although this findings cannot rule out the possibility that women failed to seek luxury goods in the male audience condition due to feelings of shame or distress, the null finding in the male audience condition is consistent with past research showing that women do not seek conspicuous products when motivated to attract a mate (Griskevicius et al. 2007; Sundie et al. 2011). Furthermore, the fact that women did not increase their desire for luxury goods when another woman could not see the expensive products is consistent with the idea that women’s flaunting of designer goods is intended as a signal to other women rather than men.
- In summary, Study 5 showed that a woman’s luxury products can effectively dissuade other women from poaching her romantic partner. Other women who would consider pursuing a taken man (women following a short-term mating strategy) were less willing to pursue him if his partner had a luxurious designer handbag and expensive jewelry. This effect was driven (mediated) by other women’s perceptions of the man as more devoted to his partner when she had luxury products. Importantly, the woman’s luxury products were not effective at guarding her mate when other women were explicitly told that the man had not contributed resources to her products. Consistent with the earlier finding that in ambiguous situations women spontaneously assume that the man paid for more than half (58%) of a woman’s luxury products, luxury products are effective at mate guarding for women because other women generally assume that a romantic partner has devoted at least some resources to his partner’s products.
Aus meiner Sicht eine durchaus stimmige Theorie. Sie zeigt mal wieder die Bedeutung von Costly Signals, die dann kulturell ausgestaltet werden. Was heute die Pradatasche oder das Luxuskleid sind mag früher ein besonderes Fellkleidungsstück oder eine besonders seltene aber schön geformte Muschel als Schmuckstück gewesen sein.
Natürlich nutzen auch Männer Luxusgegenstände nicht nur als Mittel um Frauen anzulocken, sondern auch in der intrasexuellen Konkurrenz. Vielleicht sogar auf eine sehr gleiche Weise: Ich würde vermuten, dass auch viele Männer davon ausgehen würden, dass sie die Frau eines sehr reichen Mannes schwerer erobern können und dies auch potentielle Konkurrenten abschreckt. Hier wird aber weniger darauf abgestellt werden, dass die Gegenstände Ausdruck einer besonderen Gunst der Frau sind, da bei diesen eine Versorgereigenschaft evolutionär nicht von der gleichen Bedeutung ist.
Es ist jedenfalls interessant, dass Eifersucht Frauen zu Luxusmarken führt und Luxusmarken ihnen auch in einer Partnerschaft Sicherheit geben können.