The devil wears Prada: Advertisements of luxury brands evoke feelings of social exclusion

Ming Jiang, Ding Guo Gao, Ren Huang, C. Nathan Dewall, Xinyue Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Luxury goods symbolically represent social segregation and exclusion, thereby communicating superiority, exclusivity and distance. In three experiments, we tested the hypothesis that exposure to luxury advertisements in Chinese samples activates mental representations similar to those of social exclusion. Participants were more likely to perceive being rejected by models in the luxury advertisements than models in the non-luxury advertisements. Moreover, exposure to luxury advertisements increased participants' expectations of being rejected in a subsequent ambiguous social interaction. Finally, looking at luxury advertisements resulted in decreased life satisfaction, and this effect was more pronounced for participants with high rejection sensitivity than those with low rejection sensitivity. Overall, the results suggest that luxury advertisements evoke feelings of social exclusion in Chinese.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-254
Number of pages10
JournalAsian Journal of Social Psychology
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd with the Asian Association of Social Psychology and the Japanese Group Dynamics Association.

Keywords

  • Advertisement
  • Life satisfaction
  • Luxury
  • Rejection sensitivity
  • Social rejection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • General Social Sciences

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