The Effect of Social Jetlag on Conspicuous Consumption

Prof. Zhongqiang HUANG, Associate Professor, University of Hong Kong

Date:         16 November 2022 (Wednesday)
Time:        10:30am – 11:30am
Venue:      Online via Zoom
Host:         Prof. Kao SI, Assistant Professor of Marketing
Zoom link: https://umac.zoom.us/j/92891242561


Consumers’ schedules are jointly determined by their biological clock and social clock. However, their social clock often deviates from the biological clock (e.g., having to get up earlier than one’s natural wake-up time for work or study, having to stay up to work night shifts or meet a project deadline). This misalignment of social and biological clocks is known as social jetlag. While prior research shows that social jetlag, a ubiquitous experience in most busy lives, can have negative consequences on people’s physical and mental well-being, not much has been done to unravel its impact on consumer behavior. In this research, we fill this gap by showing that social jetlag decreases consumers’ interest in conspicuous consumption. Social-jetlagged consumers become less interested in social interaction. Conspicuous consumption, which draws social attention that may lead to social interaction, is less desirable to social-jetlagged consumers for this reason. The effect is weakened when social interaction is perceived to be less aversive (e.g., interacting with familiar others rather than strangers), when consumers believe that conspicuous consumption will not draw extra social attention that may lead to social interaction, or when they expect to use the luxury product in a private context. This work both measures and manipulates social jetlag, illustrating the effect using consequential behavioral measures. Implications for the literatures on social jetlag and conspicuous consumption as well as for marketing practice are discussed.


Prof. Zhongqiang HUANG is a Associate Professor and MSc in Marketing Programme Director in The University of Hong Kong. He received his PhD from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has twoforthcoming papers published in Journal of Consumer Psychology and Journal of Consumer Research and published a paper in Journal of Marketing Research as the first author in 2019. His works have appeared in major journals including Journal of Consumer Research, International Journal of Research in Marketing and Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

All are welcome!