This psych experiment is just begging to be tested on non-WEIRD (elite US college student) subjects: The present experiments demonstrate that the motivation to conspicuously consume and display, to the extent that it is evoked by a mating context, may be most prominent among men pursuing a sexual strategy that involves low parental investment. Conspicuous consumption was pronounced among men interested in short-term mating liaisons and was perceived accordingly by women. (
Rob, they mentioned that conspicuous consumption is widespread, but didn't have data on any association with cads.
Stephen, these are experiments, not just correlations.
Gil, sure you are commenting in the right place?
What a coinkidink. PT has a recent about the pros of polyamoury:
Positive correlation between conspicuous consumption and short-term mating isn't surprising. But what reason to think the correlation reflects a mating strategy? Women would be apt to describe such men as "shallow," which may in turn be a shallow explanation, but at least it's an explanation. A priori from a prepackaged evolutionary psychology perspective, I would predict the opposite result: conspicuous consumption is tied seeking a long-term relationship, as conspicuous consumption signals material resources more directly than it might signal good genes.