Study Finds Men Send Wrong Message With Flashy Sports Cars

Posted on August 6, 2011

A new study has found men who buy a flashy sports car might be more likely to get a date. The study, which appeared in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, found that women did find men with a flashy car (such as a Porsche) more desirable. However, the flashy car advantage faded when women considered a long-term relationship with the Porsche owner. The researchers say women found the flashy guys more desirable for a date, but the Porsche driver was not preferred as a marriage partner.

The researchers compared the purchase of flashy products, like luxury cars, to peacock feathers.

Jill Sundie, assistant professor of marketing at University of Texas-San Antonio (UTSA) and lead author of the paper said, "This research suggests that conspicuous products, such as Porsches, can serve the same function for some men that large and brilliant feathers serve for peacocks."

Daniel Beal, study co-author and assistant professor of psychology at Rice, said, "When women considered him for a long-term relationship, owning the sports car held no advantage relative to owning an economy car. People may feel that owning flashy things makes them more attractive as a relationship partner, but in truth, many men might be sending women the wrong message."

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