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With a devoted and identifiable following in mega fashion trends and designer luxury distribution, jewelry has somehow taken a back seat to hand bags, shoes, and other forms of frivolous fashion expenditures. Scott Fitzgerald. Created by the house of Tiffany and Co. The attention to the lavishness and grandeur of the pieces is a flawless portrayal of how jewelry sets the standard for the uber-wealthy and their designs become timeless. With that being said, we take inspiration from many different decades of fashion and style, and begin to blend the statement pieces with fashion garments.

Anger is a Gift is their debut YA novel. Donations to inQluded welcome. In the wake of the election, Lyz Lenz watched as her country and her marriage were torn apart by the competing forces of faith and politics. What was happening to faith in the heartland? From drugstores in Sydney, Iowa, to skeet shooting in rural Illinois, to the mega churches of Minneapolis, Lenz set out to discover the changing forces of faith and tradition in God's country.

Part journalism, part memoir, God Land is a journey into the heart of a deeply divided America. Lenz visits places of worship across the heartland and speaks to the everyday people who often struggle to keep their churches afloat and to cope in a land of instability. Through a thoughtful interrogation of the effects of faith and religion on our lives, our relationships, and our country, God Land investigates whether our divides can ever be bridged and if America can ever come together. Lyz Lenz is a contributing writer for the Columbia Journalism Review.

Jia Tolentino is a staff writer at the New Yorker. Trick Mirror, her first essay collection, will be published by Random House in Many liberals even resisted the movement to end rape on campus. And yet, legal, political, and cultural efforts, often spearheaded by women of color, were quietly paving the way for the takedown of abusers and harassers.

Reckoning delivers the stirring tale of a movement catching fire as pioneering women in the media exposed the Harvey Weinsteins of the world, women flooded the political landscape, and the walls of male privilege finally began to crack. This is revelatory, essential social history. Jia Tolentino is a peerless voice of her generation, tackling the conflicts, contradictions, and sea changes that define us and our time.

Now, in this dazzling collection of nine entirely original essays, written with a rare combination of give and sharpness, wit and fearlessness, she delves into the forces that warp our vision, demonstrating an unparalleled stylistic potency and critical dexterity. Trick Mirror is an enlightening, unforgettable trip through the river of self-delusion that surges just beneath the surface of our lives. This is a book about the incentives that shape us, and about how hard it is to see ourselves clearly through a culture that revolves around the self. Doreen St.

In , St. In , she was a finalist for a National Magazine Award for Columns and Commentary, and, in , she won in the same category. Richard Russo: Chances Are But each man holds his own secrets, in addition to the monumental mystery that none of them has ever stopped puzzling over since a Memorial Day weekend right here on the Vineyard in the disappearance of the woman each of them loved—Jacy Rockafellow. Now, more than forty years later, as this new weekend unfolds, three lives are displayed in their entirety while the distant past confounds the present like a relentless squall of surprise and discovery.

For both longtime fans and lucky newcomers, Chances Are… is a stunning demonstration of a highly acclaimed author deepening and expanding his remarkable achievement. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three daughters. He was born and raised on Staten Island. Eliza Roth and her sister Sophie co-own a jewelry shop in Brooklyn. Sales skyrocket, press rolls in, and Eliza learns that her personal life is good for business. So she has a choice: continue the ruse or clear up the misunderstanding. Fellow entrepreneur Blake seems like the perfect match on paper.

And in real life he shows promise, too. She can either stay engaged online or fall in love in real life. Written with singular charm and style, Love at First Like is for anyone growing up and settling down in the digital age. Previously, she was a writer and editor at Seventeen. As a young musician, Miles Davis heard music everywhere. This biography explores the childhood and early career of a jazz legend as he finds his voice and shapes a new musical sound. Follow his progression from East St. Rhythmic free verse imbues his story with musicality and gets readers in the groove. Keith Henry Brown , debut picture book illustrator, got his start drawing super heroes, but jazz musicians like Miles Davis have always been heroes to him.

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He has also designed and illustrated promotional graphics and jazz album covers. Kathleen Cornell Berman is an assembler and sculptor of words and found objects. A former elementary school teacher, she now spends her time writing, creating art, and frequenting jazz concerts. Birth of the Cool is her debut picture book.

She lives in Queens, New York, with her husband. Fourteen-year-old Cindy and her two older brothers live in rural Pennsylvania, in a house with occasional electricity, two fierce dogs, one book, and a mother who comes and goes for months at a time. Deprived of adult supervision, the siblings rely on one another for nourishment of all kinds. As Jude Vanderjohn, Cindy is suddenly surrounded by books and art, by new foods and traditions, and most important, by a startling sense of possibility.

In her borrowed life she also finds herself accepting the confused love of a mother who is constitutionally incapable of grasping what has happened to her real daughter. As Cindy experiences overwhelming maternal love for the first time, she must reckon with her own deceits and, in the process, learn what it means to be a daughter, a sister, and a neighbor.

Marilou Is Everywhere is a powerful, propulsive portrait of an overlooked girl who finds for the first time that her choices matter. She is also a recipient of a Rona Jaffe Wallace fellowship. He has received a Whiting Award and an O. Henry Award. Ella is flat broke: wasting away on bodega coffee, barely making rent, seducing the occasional strange man who might buy her dinner. Unexpectedly, an Upper East Side couple named Lonnie and James rescue her from her empty bank account, offering her a job as a nanny and ushering her into their moneyed world.

Both women are just twenty-six—but unlike Ella, Lonnie has a doting husband and son, unmistakable artistic talent, and old family money. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and her work has been published in a variety of literary magazines. She spent seven years working as a nanny in New York City. Devotion is her first novel. She was raised in Arizona by her Jewish mother and Palestinian father.

Sonora is her first novel. Women have always been seen as monsters. Men from Aristotle to Freud have insisted that women are freakish creatures, capable of immense destruction. Maybe they are. These monsters embody patriarchal fear of women, and illustrate the violence with which men enforce traditionally feminine roles. They also speak to the primal threat of a woman who takes back her power.

In a dark and dangerous world, Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers asks women to look to monsters for the ferocity we all need to survive. Sady Doyle is an author, journalist and opinion writer.


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Her latest book, Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers: Monstrosity, Patriarchy and the Fear of Female Power is devoted to exploring monstrous images of women in pop culture, mythology and society, and the mechanisms of patriarchal control that exist to tamp down women's fearsome potential. She lives in upstate New York. Talia Lavin is a writer based in Brooklyn, whose musings on food, faith and the far right have been featured in the New Yorker, the Washington Post and the New Republic.

Her book about white nationalism online will be published by Hachette Books in Chris L. Terry: Black Card. Determined to win back his Black Card, the narrator sings rap songs at an all-white country music karaoke night, absorbs black pop culture, and attempts to date his black coworker Mona, who is attacked one night. The narrator becomes the prime suspect and earns the attention of John Donahue, a local police officer with a grudge dating back to high school.

Forced to face his past, his relationships with his black father and white mother, and the real consequences and dangers of being black in America, the narrator must choose who he is before the world decides for him. Terry was born in to an African American father and an Irish American mother. Terry lives in Los Angeles with his family.

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Carrie Goldberg: Nobody's Victim. Her battle ground is the courtroom; her crusade to transform clients from victims into warriors. In gripping detail, Carrie shares the diabolical ways her clients are attacked and how she, through her unique combination of advocacy, badass relentlessness, risk-taking, and client-empowerment, gets justice for them all. There are stories about a woman whose ex-boyfriend made fake bomb threats in her name and caused a national panic; a fifteen year old girl who was sexually assaulted on school grounds, then suspended when she reported the attack; and a man whose ex-boyfriend used a dating app to send over men to his home and work for sex.

With breathtaking honestly, Carrie even shares stories of her own shattering abuse. While her clients are a diverse group—from every gender, sexual orientation, age, class, race, religion, occupation and background - offenders are not. They are highly predictable. In this book, Carrie offers a taxonomy of the four types of offenders she encounters most often at her firm: assholes, psychos, pervs, and trolls. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Carrie spent five years working for Nazi victims, and before starting her firm in , she worked at the Vera Institute of Justice in New York City.

She was featured in the documentary Netizens, and her life and work is the basis for an upcoming fictional legal procedural television show. Lauded for the power of her writing and having attracted an online fan base of millions for her extraordinary spoken-word performances, Olivia Gatwood is a thrilling new feminist voice.

Her precise, searing language—at times blistering and rioutous, at times soulful and exuberant—explores the boundary between what is real and what is imagined in a life saturated with fear. Gatwood asks, How does one grow from a girl to a woman in a world wracked by violence? Where is the line between perpetrator and victim? A dazzling debut collection of raw and explosive poems about growing up in a sexist, sensationalized world, Life of the Party illustrates that what happens to our bodies makes us who we are.

Olivia Gatwood has received national recognition for her poetry, writing workshops, and work as an educator in sexual assault prevention and recovery. She is a full-time touring artist, and has performed at more than two hundred schools and universities worldwide.

This event will be held at The Bell House 7th St. Buy Tickets Here. Well, half a sham. While the program has successfully launched five capsules into space, the Chief Designer and his team have never successfully brought one back to earth. But in a nation built on secrets and propaganda, the biggest lie of all is about to unravel. Because there are no more twins left. Combining history and fiction, the real and the mystical, First Cosmic Velocity is the story of Leonid, the last of the twins. Taken in from a life of poverty in Ukraine to the training grounds in Russia, the Leonids were given one name and one identity, but divergent fates.

Now one Leonid has launched to certain death or so one might think… , and the other is sent on a press tour under the watchful eye of Ignatius, the government agent who knows too much but gives away little. And while Leonid battles his increasing doubts about their deceitful project, the Chief Designer must scramble to perfect a working spacecraft, especially when Khrushchev nominates his high-strung, squirrel-like dog for the first canine mission.

He co-founded the literary arts nonprofit Seersucker Live and led the writers' workshop at the Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home for eight years. He spent a decade in television, for which he won four regional Emmy Awards, and he was a columnist for the Savannah Morning News.

He is currently a lecturer at Columbia University. Bassey Ikpi was born in Nigeria in Four years later, she and her mother joined her father in Stillwater, Oklahoma —a move that would be anxiety ridden for any child, but especially for Bassey. Her early years in America would come to be defined by tension: an assimilation further complicated by bipolar II and anxiety that would go undiagnosed for decades. Determined to learn from her experiences—and share them with others—Bassey became a mental health advocate and has spent the fourteen years since her diagnosis examining the ways mental health is inextricably intertwined with every facet of ourselves and our lives.

Viscerally raw and honest, the result is an exploration of the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of who we are—and the ways, as honest as we try to be, each of these stories can also be a lie. Melissa Febos is the author of the memoir, Whip Smart St. In the early days of Prohibition, long before Al Capone became a household name, a German immigrant named George Remus quits practicing law and starts trafficking whiskey. By the summer of , Remus owns 35 percent of all the liquor in the United States. Pioneering prosecutor Mabel Walker Willebrandt is determined to bring him down.

Eager to prove them wrong, she dispatches her best investigator, Franklin Dodge, to look into his empire. Her husband behind bars, Imogene begins an affair with Dodge. Together, they plot to ruin Remus, sparking a bitter feud that soon reaches the highest levels of government—and that can only end in murder.

Ada Calhoun is the author of St. Have you ever seen a curmudgeon that looks like your brother, but is in such a bad mood you hardly recognize him? You can try all the peanut butter sandwiches and brownies you have, but he is not moving. Caleb Crain: Overthrow. About the book: One autumn night, as a grad student named Matthew is walking home from the subway, a handsome skateboarder catches his eye.

Leif, mesmerizing and enigmatic, invites Matthew to meet his friends, who are experimenting with tarot cards. In the current research we investigate whether social density influences inferences of social class and whether such inferences then moderate perceptions of the valuation of co-presented products.

Eight studies consistently suggest that this is indeed the case. Study 2 replicates this finding in a retail context and additionally rules out the effect being driven by raw numbers as opposed to density. Studies 3A and 3B reveal that higher social densities in a retail context result in lower product valuations and willingness to pay, an effect that is mediated by estimates of social class.

Study 4 uses an auction procedure to demonstrate that the effect of store social density on product valuation influences real money willingness to pay, with social class again mediating this relationship. Finally, study 6 addresses the issue of spontaneity of inferences, by revealing that the core effect holds in a scenario where, unlike all the prior studies, the provision of detailed product descriptions substantially lowers the need to make inferences from the crowdedness of the store.

The pilot study was designed to explore whether evidence of an association between levels of social density and social class exists in the popular photographic record. To this end, we conducted a simple content analysis using images resulting from a search of the largest collection of online pictures, Google Images. The pictorial representation of social class in a very large collection of photographs that has no known defining rhetorical or artistic bias provides us with a convenient tool with which to begin to ascertain whether our hypothesized density—class relationship is likely to exist in American social knowledge structures.

Although imperfect, archives, museums, and other collections are routinely used as proxies for collective memory. To investigate the relationship between social class and social density, we used the Google Image library. Images were retrieved on the same day October 22, , and the number of individuals in the first one hundred human images for each condition upper vs.

Repeated images were counted only once. When an image contained an uncountable large crowd, it was conservatively coded as containing 20 individuals. Thus, consistent with the theorizing offered above, social class does seem to be visually represented in terms of social density, with the upper classes being afforded more visual attention space than the less economically and socially fortunate.

Clearly this finding, although novel, in and of itself provides no direct support for the possibility that social density may influence actual inferences of social class. However, by evidencing the existence of an underlying social dynamic involving density, it certainly provides one piece of evidence supporting the possibility that individuals may have learned to associate perhaps automatically different degrees of social density with different social stereotypes. As such, the main goal of study 1 was to directly explore whether actual inferences of the social class of individuals are in fact influenced by social density.

As a first test of whether social density can invoke representations of social class, we wanted to design a simple experiment that minimized that chances of confounds with other contextual cues. With this goal in mind, we manipulated social density using extremely simple representations of human imagery—namely, stick figures. The obvious advantage of using stick figures is that other potentially confounding contextual cues such as clothing are eliminated.

Seventy-five undergraduate students participated in this study for the chance of winning a gift card. Participants were randomly assigned to either a high-density or low-density condition. The study was presented as being concerned with how individuals form impressions of people when they have very little information to go on.

Participants in both conditions were shown an image consisting solely of a number of human stick figures on a white background. In the low-density condition the image consisted of two stick figures, whereas in the high-density context condition 36 stick figures were present within the same space figure 1. Participants were asked to spend a few moments looking at the image and to try to imagine characteristics of the people represented. Participants were then asked to provide their immediate impressions of the likely social class of the people they imagined.

These results thus suggest that the mere social density of symbolic human figures systematically influences perceptions of the social class of the individuals represented. While the pilot study identified a representational convention that was consistent with our hypothesized density—class relationship, these data reveal that the number of people in a fixed space i.

It is important that the bare nature of the stimuli minimized the possibility that participants could have relied upon other specific social inferences to arrive at their social class estimates. For example, because the figures were on a bare background, there were no visual cues indicative that the figures might have been at a store as in later studies or any other location that would carry particular social meaning.

Moreover, the nature of the stick figures enabled us to largely rule out that any other individual-level information such as clothing was being used to inform the inferences of social class and its common correlate Gruske , income. A potential weakness of study 1 is that, compared with the low-density condition, the high-density condition actually increased both the density of the figures and their total number.

Thus, we cannot rule out the possibility that the inferences of lower social class we observed in the crowded condition were driven by the total number of figures present in the scene, as opposed to as was our expectation their density. The first goal of study 2 was to tease apart these competing explanations by manipulating density via altering the size of the room, thus enabling us to hold the raw number of figures constant. A secondary goal was to explore whether the effects of social density on class inferences we observed in the neutral setting in study 1 would hold in an explicitly retail setting.

Four hundred seventy-four participants from a general online panel completed this study in return for payment. The study was presented as being concerned with retail store impressions, and participants were randomly assigned to either the high-density or low-density condition. Participants in both conditions were once again shown a stylistic image, in this case described as representing a retail space, which was again populated by a number of human stick figures in this case pictured top down to give a better sense of scale to the environment; figure 2.

On this occasion, although both conditions contained 21 figures, the size of the room was varied.


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These stimuli were pretested to ensure that they were in fact perceived as representing more or less densely populated environments. As in study 1, participants were asked to spend a few moments looking at the image and to try to imagine characteristics of the people represented before estimating their social class and income. Thus, inferences of both income and social class were lower in the high-density condition despite the exact same number of figures being present in both conditions.

As such, although not completely ruling out a unique effect of the raw number of figures, these data are supportive of a density-driven inferential process. With a link between social density and social class inferences having been established in studies 1 and 2, we turn next to consider whether these effects spill over to influence how individuals value products presented in the same context. In Goffman terms , , studies 3 and 4 were designed to investigate whether objects of desire that co-inhabit the same high—social density frame would have lower valuations than those co-mingling in a low—social density frame.

Study 3A had two main goals: First, we wanted to explore whether the social class inferences identified in the first two studies influence product valuation. Second, whereas the previous two studies were binary in nature i. Study 3B served both to extend our investigation from valuation to willingness to pay and to once again ensure the effect was driven by density and not by not raw numbers.

Eighty-four undergraduate students voluntarily participated in study 3A for extra-credit, and eighty-six participants from an online panel participated in study 3B for payment.

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Photoshop was used to create images of identical stores with different social densities figure 3. In study 3A, the store images depict three different levels of social crowding: high containing 35 people , medium containing 14 people , and low containing four people. However, in study 3B, whereas the high—social density containing 35 people and low—social density containing four people conditions were the same, the third was a number-controlled condition containing 35 people in a space that was three times as large.

To again control for individual level cues that may influence social inferences, we populated the store images with human silhouettes rather than with images of actual people. The studies were presented to participants as a store image study. To avoid any suspicion of the silhouettes in the picture, participants were told that the image was based on a real photo of a store but that the actual people in the image had been replaced by silhouettes to protect their identity. Participants in both studies were asked to spend a few moments examining the image of the store and to then imagine they had entered the store to buy a pair of shoes.

Participants were then instructed to estimate the price of a pair of shoes in the store. To minimize the chance that other product cues would be used to make this estimate, participants were simply shown an ambiguous shoebox that they were told was from the store presented. Additionally, as a manipulation check, in study 3B, all participants were asked to rate their perceptions of crowdedness of the presented store environment on a 7-point scale anchored from 1 not at all crowded to 7 very crowded. Finally, participants in both studies estimated the social class and income of other shoppers as in studies 1 and 2.

To explore whether this effect of density on willingness to pay was mediated by inferences of social status, the indirect effect of store density on willingness to pay was examined through inferred social class Preacher and Hayes These results thus build on study 2 in suggesting that it is social density, rather than simply the raw number of people, that influences willingness to pay. Studies 3A and 3B demonstrated that the mere store social density appeared to influence both product valuation study 3A and willingness to pay study 3B. The mediation analysis in study 3A suggested this effect of social crowding on product valuation was driven by perceptions of the social class of other shoppers.

Furthermore, study 3B not only generalized the result from valuation to willingness to pay but also built on the findings from study 2, demonstrating that this effect was driven by social density, not simply the raw number of patrons present. Study 4 had three main goals: First, a potential alternative explanation for the results of study 3 is that because we asked participants to imagine visiting the store, the high-density context may have led participants to imagine the store as a stressful environment, or perhaps to have invoked thoughts about a long wait period to check out.

Either may have led participants to imagine a shorter stay at the store, thus leading them to offer lower estimates of willingness to pay although, because we asked for willingness to pay for a single product, rather than a basket of goods, this seems unlikely. To remedy this concern, in study 4 we asked participants to bid on a product from a store without asking them to imagine visiting it.

Second, to further generalize the results of study 3, we wanted to explore whether the effect of social density on product valuation would be sufficient to influence actual real-money willingness to pay for a product. Finally, given the importance of our underlying social class process story, we wanted to replicate the mediation by estimated social class in the context of actual willingness to pay.

Imagine Create Explore Volume 2: Jewelry and Vanity

Two hundred forty-seven undergraduate students, who had previously expressed a willingness to complete a study that might involve them spending a small amount of their own money participated in this study for course credit students who declined to participate also received credit. Participants were randomly assigned to either the high-density or low-density condition where they were presented with the appropriate image from study 3 figure 3.

Participants were told that the study concerned how people value products when they have limited information. They were instructed that they would shortly have the opportunity to bid on a knitted wool beanie hat and were asked to first spend a few moments examining an image of the store from where the hat was sourced.

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The hat itself was not further described or pictured. Participants were next told that after they stated the amount they were willing to pay, they would then draw a random price from a pool of potential prices. They were further told that all the possible prices they could draw were lower than the true retail value of the hat and that, as such, it was impossible to have a successful bid that would not represent a good deal. The instructions concluded with several examples of how the bid process could work and the advice that their best strategy was simply to bid whatever they were truly willing to pay for the hat.

Finally, they completed the same social class and expected income measures that were used in studies 1 to 3, and then indicated the size of hat they would prefer if their bid was successful small, medium, or large. Thus the mere crowdedness of the store appeared to have a significant impact on actual willingness to pay real money. To explore whether this effect of social density on willingness to pay was mediated by social class inferences, we again examined the indirect effect of store density on the willingness to spend through the estimated class variable Preacher and Hayes Once again, the perceived social class of a typical store customer mediated the downstream valuation of a product believed to be from that store.

Study 4 demonstrated that, in the absence of any other contextual information relating to price, the mere social density of a store is sufficient to systematically bias inference of social class and thus influence actual real money bids for a product. As such, these data demonstrate that an entirely nonproduct-related piece of contextual information—namely, social density—can systematically influence willingness to pay real money.

The mediation analysis further revealed that this effect on willingness to pay appeared to be determined by the underlying inferences about the social class of patrons of the store. While studies 3A, 3B, and 4 provide compelling evidence of the link between retail social density, class inferences, and product valuation, an alternative explanation not relying on inferences of social class is that participants simply used the crowdedness of the store as a proxy for demand, and thus price e. Although the mediation by social class in studies 3A and 4 suggests our class inference explanation is substantially more parsimonious, we wanted to further rule out an explanation relying on inferences of market demand.

First, we ran a near replicate of study 3A using only the high- and low-density conditions that changed the dependent variable from an estimate of the price of shoes sold by the store to an estimate of the average value of shoes worn by customers in the store. If the observed effects of store density on product valuation in studies 3A, 3B, and 4 were driven by inferences about the social class of customers in the store, then we would expect the core result to hold when estimating the value of shoes worn by those customers. Thus the crowdedness of the store not only influences the valuation of products for sale therein but also estimates of the value of products already owned by customers.

This latter result is entirely consistent with estimated product value being driven by inferences of social class, but it somewhat more problematic to reconcile with a pure market demand inference. Whereas the inferred social class of shoppers was demonstrated to mediate the willingness-to-pay estimates in studies 3A and 4, the main goal of study 5 was to better delineate exactly how social class inferences influence willingness to pay.

In particular, consistent with social identity theory Tajfel , we wanted to investigate whether association—dissociation motives between the self and the pictured others help explain our willingness-to-pay findings. One hundred thirty-eight participants from an online panel participated in this study for payment and were randomly assigned to either a high— or low—social density condition. The study was administered online and was presented to participants as a store image study. The two high social density vs. Next, participants were asked to imagine typical shoppers at the pictured store and to report the degree of similarity they felt to them.

To measure this perceived degree of similarity we used the Overlap of Self, In-group, and Out-group self-categorization scale Schubert and Otten Participants indicate which picture best represents how similar they perceive themselves to be with the group of interest. This effectively provides a 7-point perceived similarity scale based on the distance between the midpoints of the two circles ranging from very dissimilar coded as 1 to very similar coded as 7. The scale draws on a technique for measuring interpersonal closeness developed by Aron, Aron, and Smollan and research demonstrating that group identification can be measured by the degree to which a group is included in the self Tropp and Wright Using the same measurement technique, participants were next asked to report how much they wanted to be similar to the pictured shoppers.

The differences between the two scores were computed to provide an affiliation motivation score, defined as the discrepancy between the ideal and actual similarity to the pictured shoppers. Finally, participants were asked to estimate the social class and income of a typical store customer in the same way as in our prior studies. As expected, the results of our prior studies were again replicated. Thus it appears that participants are motivated to become more similar to those shoppers they inferred to be of higher social class. To explore whether this effect of social density on willingness to pay was mediated by these associate—dissociate motives, the indirect effect of social density of retail space on willingness to pay was examined through affiliation motive—namely, the difference between desired similarity and actual similarity Preacher and Hayes Thus, the affiliation motive mediated the influence of social density on willingness to pay.

This study built on studies 3 and 4 by demonstrating a specific psychological process underlying how inferred social class influences willingness to pay. Participants reported a greater affiliation motivation toward patrons from the lower—social density store than they did from those at the highly socially dense store. Furthermore, this different association—dissociation motivation strength mediated the influence of store social density on the amount they were willing to pay for the product.

Although this result is hard to reconcile with a simple demand inference explaining the effect of density on product valuation, it is wholly consistent with inferences of social class driving this effect. The first six studies demonstrated that the level of social density in the environment predictably influences the inferences people make about the social class of individuals in that environment and that in a store context these inferences of social class mediate estimates of product valuation and willingness to spend.

Study 6 was designed to address two remaining questions. First, a potential criticism of the prior studies is that they may have provoked participants into making inferences they would not spontaneously make in more ecologically valid contexts. By such an account, the inferences made, though entirely legitimate, might be considered somewhat forced or exaggerated.