Fan & Burton & Chen, Students’ Perception of Status-Conveying Goods


Fan, J. X. & Burton, J. R. (2002). Students’ perception of status-conveying goods.
Financial Counseling and Planning, 13(1), 35-46.



Students’ Perception of Status-Conveying Goods


Jessie X. Fan1 and John R. Burton2



The purpose of this study was to identify an array of goods that college students believe indicate social status. Data from a survey of almost 400 students at the University of Utah were analyzed. Commodities considered status-conveying all have the feature of being either easily seen by others or easily talked about in social conversations. The exploratory logistic regression analyses show that students’ perception of what constitutes status goods vary by age, gender, race, marital status, working status, family size, living arrangement, income and student’s major. Implications are discussed for financial advisors working with clients who overspend.


Key words: Status consumption, College students, Perceptions, Conspicuous consumption, Positional goods, Social display


Page 1 of original survey used in the research (Acrobat file)

Page 2 of original survey used in the research (Acrobat file)


1 . Jessie X. Fan, Associate Professor, University of Utah, Department of Family and Consumer Studies, 225 S 1400 E ARB 228, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0080. Phone 801-581-4170, Fax: 801-581-5156, E-mail: fan@fcs.utah.edu

2. John R. Burton, Associate Professor, University of Utah, Department of Family and Consumer Studies, 225 S 1400 E ARB 228, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0080. Phone 801-581-8332, Fax: 801-581-5156, E-mail: burton@fcs.utah.edu


We would like to thank Joseph Jenks, Lisa McKitrick, Hsien-Hsien Lau, and Kuoliang Chang for their excellent research support to this project. Any remaining errors in this paper are the sole responsibility of the authors.


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