Social exclusion and conspicuous consumption: The moderating effect of power state

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Shichang Liang
Yaping Chang
Jinshan Wang
Cite this article:  Liang, S., Chang, Y., & Wang, J. (2017). Social exclusion and conspicuous consumption: The moderating effect of power state. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 45(2), 321-330.


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Drawing on the compensation motivation of consumption, and the power, approach, and inhibition theory, we proposed that power state would moderate the effect of social exclusion on conspicuous consumption. We conducted a study with 223 undergraduate student participants to test our hypotheses. Results showed that individuals in a low-power state were more prone to conspicuous consumption when they were in social exclusion than when they were socially included. In contrast, individuals in a high-power state did not exhibit any significant difference in terms of conspicuous consumption, whether or not they were socially excluded or included. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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