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The Psychology of Social Status and Purchases

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Human beings, your customers included, are concerned about their status in society—and have been for as long as societies have existed. That’s because much of status-seeking is instinctual: It’s hard-coded in us because status improves our chances of survival.

“People learned early on that respect from their community translated directly into better protection, more desirable mating options, and better cuts of shared resources like food and shelter,” points out a blog post and infographic by Lexington Law, which provides credit-repair services.

In modern consumer societies, that instinct can express itself in some interesting ways. For example, 77% of Millennials admit to having made a purchase so that they could post about it on Instagram.

Psychologists categorize status as an “esteem need” on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:


The Psychology of Social Status and Purchases 1

As the infographic points out for the sake of achieving status—and therefore esteem—people will change habits, diets, even their looks.

To find out more about the psychology of status, check out the infographic:

The Psychology of Social Status and Purchases 2



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