While you may be (justifiably) lusting over a Hermés handbag, both men and women don’t find luxury purchases so attractive when they’re made by their potential partners. At least that’s what Theresa E. DiDonato, Associate Professor of Psychology at Loyola University Maryland, and Brittany K. Jakubiak from the Department of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, revealed in their 2015 study. As part of their research, participants were asked to read descriptions of a stranger’s purchase decisions, which included whether the purchase was “eco-friendly” or “luxury.” The participants then reported what they thought of the stranger — including their “potential romantic interest.” 

The professors revealed, writing, “Compared to luxury purchasers, eco-friendly purchasers were ascribed greater warmth, competence, and good partner traits, but less physical appeal, and they were preferred for long-term but not short-term relationships.” Basically, men and women lust for Lexuses, but they want to settle down with the Priuses of the world.

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