Desire To Acquire: Powerlessness And Compensatory Consumption
Feeling powerless is an aversive psychological state that people try to eliminate or diminish. Given that high status is often a signal of power, demonstrating high status through the purchase of consumer products is one possible means for people to restore their sense of power. Hence, consumers are willing to pay higher prices to acquire such status-oriented items. For the demoted banker, the desire to buy a Rolex could be driven by the need to restore a sense of power.