Economics and Philosophy

Essays

Audience Effects In Consumption

Metin M.Coşgela1

a1 University of Connecticut, Storrs

Consider how your consumption would change if you were stranded on a deserted island. Isolation would eliminate all social influences on your consumption decisions, even for the same choice set. You might decide not to consume cosmetics, curtains, or neckties, and pay less attention to the style or color of your clothes, car, or furniture. These choices might not matter as much to you anymore, for you would not have to consider the reactions of other individuals to your consumption. Similarly, isolation would also eliminate social influences on your speech. Absent an audience, your choice of words would not be subject to the judgments of others.