Professor Manoj Thomas, Cornell University

Conspicuous consumption has often been decried as immoral by many philosophers and scholars, yet it is ubiquitous and widely embraced. We resolve this apparent paradox by proposing that the perceived morality of conspicuous consumption is malleable, contingent upon how different moral lenses highlight the different characteristics embedded in the behaviour. Utilising the Moral Foundations Theory, we demonstrate that the individualising values (for example, equality and welfare) make people focus on the self-enhancing characteristics of conspicuous consumption, making it seem morally objectionable. However, the binding values (for example., deference to authority, in-group loyalty, and purity) make people focus on the social identity signalling characteristic of conspicuous consumption, making it seem morally permissible. Thus, this research suggests that some moral values can, somewhat paradoxically, increase conspicuous consumption.

Speaker bio

Professor Manoj Thomas is a behavioural scientist who trains executives and MBA students to use behavioural science for smarter marketing decisions. Thomas has been awarded the Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching, which is voted on by the graduating class of MBA students, and the Stephen Russell Family Teaching Award, which is voted on by the five-year residential MBA reunion class and indicates a lasting influence on their education.

Professor Thomas is an expert on behavioural pricing. He has identified several interesting psychological effects such as the left-digit effect, the price precision effect, and the credit card effect. These effects provide insights into how consumers evaluate prices and make purchase decisions. He is the co-author of the book Why People (Don’t) Buy: GO and STOP signals. He is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Marketing Research and the Journal of Consumer Psychology and he is on the editorial review board of the Journal of Consumer Research.

Address

Trumpington St
Cambridge
CambridgeshireCB2 1AG
United Kingdom

Date & time

Date: 28 November 2019
Start Time: 12:00
End Time: 13:30

Audience

Open to: Members of the University of Cambridge

Category: , ,

 

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Event location


Trumpington St
Cambridge
CambridgeshireCB2 1AG
United Kingdom

Event timings

Date: 28 November 2019
Start Time: 12:00
End Time: 13:30