I cannot change, so I buy who I am: How mindset predicts conspicuous consumption

Lining Sun1, Jiqiang Li2, Yi Hu3
1School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, People’s Republic of China and Department of Psychology, Stanford University, USA
2School of Economics and Management, Tongji University, People’s Republic of China, and Department of Psychology, Stanford University, USA
3School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Sun, L., Li, J., & Hu, Y. (2020). I cannot change, so I buy who I am: How mindset predicts conspicuous consumption. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 48(7), e9314.

Volume 48 Issue 7 | e9314 | Published: July 2020 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.9314

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People’s mindset comprises the beliefs they endorse about whether human attributes are fixed or malleable, and these beliefs then shape their motivations and behaviors. We conducted an empirical examination of the relationship between mindset and conspicuous consumption, and investigated whether performance goal orientation mediates this relationship. We found that, relative to those who believe that personality is malleable (growth mindset), consumers who believe that personality cannot be changed (fixed mindset) are more likely to engage in conspicuous consumption. Further, performance goal orientation mediated the relationship between mindset and conspicuous consumption. These findings point to the importance of researchers and practitioners examining how people’s meaning system affects their behaviors as consumers.

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