The Luxury Trap

Researcher(s): Liselot Hudders
Promotors: Patrick Vyncke , Prof. dr. Mario Pandelaere
Duration: from 01/01/2006 to 02/12/2011


This PhD investigates the positive consequences of luxury consumption to explain why consumers  spend their money on such expensive goods that have no utilitarian benefits compared to their cheaper counterparts.

Insights from various disciplines , such as economy, psychology, communication sciences, behavioral economics and semiotics are combined to gain insight into the psyche of the luxury consumer.

The basic idea underlying the rewarding nature of luxury consumption is that luxury brands may function as a signal. As such, individuals (unconsciously) consume luxury brands because these brands may signal information about the underlying characteristics of the owner, both to others (impress others) and to oneself ('I'm worth it').

This PhD consists of four studies: 1) defining luxury, 2) motives for luxury consumption, 3) relationship with well-being, and 4) relationship with self-esteem.  

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