(Image source from: Mirror)
When it comes to making new friends, luxurious status symbols like luxury cars, attires and timepieces could be getting in the way.
That's the inference of a novel study which says that status symbols, in fact deter individuals from making friends with us.
"Often times we think that status symbols - whether a luxury car like a BMW, a brand name purse like Prada, or an expensive watch like Rolex - will make us look more socially attractive to others," said the study's lead author, Stephen Garcia from the University of Michigan.
"However, our research suggests that these status signals actually make us look less socially attractive, not more."
In reality, the researchers propose that trying to practice status symbols to make networks could, in fact, be wicked for us.
"To the extent friends are important to well-being, those looking for friends may unwittingly be hindering - not promoting - their own well-being," said co-author Kimberlee Weaver Livnat from the University of Haifa.
In one study, - the study involved six overall - 125 participants from a well-off suburb were presented with one of two situations, acting either as a 'presenter' or an 'evaluator'.
The presenters were asked to pick between a luxury car and a basic car to drive to an outdoor wedding where they could encounter new friends, while the evaluators were tasked with picking whether they would want to be friends with the people in the cars.
Approximately two-thirds of the first group chose to highlight to the wedding in a luxury car, but their result boomeranged.
"At a societal level, we may be wasting billions of dollars on expensive status symbols that ultimately keep others from wanting to associate with us," said Weaver Livnat.
Nonetheless, it's not all evil news for fans of fast cars and fancy watches, as the conclusions lone apply to the formation of new bonds and not commercial or romantic relationships.
"In the case of forming business contacts, our last study in this series of studies finds that using status symbols can be helpful in attracting would-be contacts but not remarkably more so than using more neutral status symbols," said co-author Patricia Chen, assistant professor of psychology at the National University of Singapore.
By Sowmya Sangam