Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Rolf Degen summarizing... Arriving fashionably late to social gatherings acts as a costly status symbol, that makes people appear more appealing and worthy of imitation in the eyes of others

Fashionably late: Differentially costly signaling of sociometric status through a subtle act of being late. Kivilcim Dogerlioglu-Demir, Andy H. Ng, Cenk Koçaş. Journal of Business Research, Volume 155, Part A, January 2023, 113331.


This research examines how arriving late to social gatherings operates as a signal of social connectedness and desirability, leading to elevated sociometric status attributions.

Drawing on costly signaling theory and the premises of sociometric status and consumption mimicry, we argue that tardiness to a gathering, as a costly and visible signal, can lead to positive inferences of sociometric status, thereby leading to mimicry. We define fashionably late as a separating equilibrium tardiness based on a signaling game and demonstrate through a series of experimental studies that people infer higher status to late- rather than on-time-arriving people. Consequently, they strive to be in the same social network with such individuals, favor their product choices, and imitate their consumption behaviors. This research contributes to the literature on the conspicuous consumption of time and to research on costly signaling by revealing the powerful influence of signaling (through late arrival to a social event) on perceptions of sociometric status.