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Personal Worth Enhanced by Owning Luxury Goods

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(GHENT, Belgium) -- It’s better to own than to rent. That’s what Americans are told when they’re making a decision to buy a home. But does the same thing apply to luxury goods, that is, do people who own them feel a lot better about themselves compared to those who might only temporarily use these products?

Researchers at Belgium’s Ghent University say that’s exactly the case after testing 300 people by allowing them to evaluate either luxury or ordinary versions of pens and chocolate with the stipulation that some could take them home after the experiment while others had to leave these products behind. The study also included questions about the participants' own sense of well-being.

In general, people who kept their luxury chocolate and pens scored the highest on feelings of satisfaction and well-being while those at the bottom were the ones who could not keep the luxury products.

The researchers concluded that materialistic consumers experience a higher degree of personal satisfaction when they own luxury goods “irrespective of the long-term adverse consequences for self and society.”

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