Post # 1
Hello folks. Currently, I am writing a paper answering the question ‘What roles do material possessions have in our identities and perception of others?’
I’ve already answered the first bit, but I’m going to answer the second bit using engagement rings and stereotyping as an example of how material possessions play a role in our perception of others.
So, what are your views? Do certain engagement rings have certain stigmas/stereotypes attached to them? If they do, which ones and why (i.e. large diamond = gold digger etc)? If not, then why not?
Thanks in advance, I really really need as many opinions as possible. It’s not a study, so I won’t be adding any of your details, just some opinions to get a feel of what the general consensus is. 🙂
Post # 3
To me, engagement rings are a status symbol like cars and other jewelry. People (esp family) can be judgemental if the ring isn’t big enough, like he means he doesn’t love you enough or can’t afford to support you.
Post # 4
Thank you for replying! I did wonder that, because I know that most of us at some point in our lives will go ‘good grief that’s a big/small engagement ring, I wonder how rich/poor he is?’ Even if we don’t mean to. Or we start to question their financial situation, possibly some rig envy over seeing bigger ones, etc.
I can’t seem to find any studies on this topic, so I thought first hand opinions from you folks would be the next best thing!
Post # 6
I actually had a co-worker say to me “geeze a rock that big must mean the love is actually real right? Or your just really good in bed”. Needless to say he was let go two days later. (and for the record my ring isn’t that big). I definetely think that people automatically assume how wealthy the man is by the type of engagement ring he gives to his Fiance.
Post # 7
@OrchidsandCandles: What class is this a paper for? I know you’re studying psych, so if it’s for a psych class I’d stick to empirical work. There are lots of studies on how various ‘symbols’ like accents/hairstyles/etc are associated with stereotypes and influence perceptions so that’s easy to relate to possessions as well
Post # 8
@bearlove: It’s an assignment set by our professor for consumer psych, just an essay lol. So I can’t really deviate off the task at hand, considering it’s an important piece of mandatory coursework that counts towards my final grade.
And accents can’t be considered ‘material possessions’ per se, ergo why I chose engagement rings as the main ‘focus’ of the second part of that question because there is a definite stereotype associated with certain types of rings and they are material possessions. I can’t find any studies linking engagement rings and stereotypes together, but he doesn’t mind that so much, thankfully. I have almost 1000 words done, I need 1750 MAX, so just some opinions and justifications are what I need! 🙂
@Mrs.Goguen: I couldn’t agree more, an engagement ring is definitely one of the things that changes our perception of people, regardless of whether we talk to them first or not.
Thanks to you both for answering the question!
Post # 9
I actually have a funny story about how I knew my Fiance was the one and it has to do with my ring.
I had dated many people in the past and had a few very long term relationships were marriage was talked about. But one of the reasons I knew my Fiance was a keeper is he agreed to buying me a 2ct ring. I had said for a long time when I find a guy who wsa willing to pay for a 2ct I would say yes and marry him. Whenever marriage was broght up in a previous relationship i would say I needed a 2ct and they guys would automaticly say no. Well when I met Fiance and we started talking marriage and I told him I wanted a 2ct ring he said that “whatever it took to marry me he would make it happen” I knew at that point that he really wated to marry me and would do anything for me.
When we started to look at rings I reveled to himthat I really didnt want or need a 2ct ring it wass just a way to weed out people who didnt really want to be with me and who werent willling to do whatever it took in a realtionship.
*dosent hurt tho that with both my bands for my ring I still ended up with a 2ctTW set.
I think rings are a easy status symbol everyone knows how much diamonds cost so they are a easy way to show off like cars or houses. I think the size of your ring only matters when you are younger and everyone you know is also getting married because you are comparing backand forth.(keeping up with the jones’)
The funny thing is I work in a jewlery store and sell engagement rings and honestly there isnt that much diffrence as far as price between a small ring with a lot of small diamonds and a large solitaire.
Post # 10
When we were shopping for wedding bands, a jeweler asked to see my engagement ring. He looked at it under the loop and said, “Wow, your Fiance really loves you”. I’m sure he was meaning that as a compliment to the ring but I was really grossed out by that comment. As if if my Fiance had bought me a less perfect ring it would mean he didn’t love me. Needless to say, we didn’t purchase our bands from him.
Post # 11
So is there a general consensus that some people attach how much a person loves you with the size of the diamonds on a ring?
Post # 12
I completely disagree that more/bigger diamonds = more love than others who have no diamonds or smaller ones. My Darling Husband would do anything for me, he loves me so very much… he couldn’t afford to buy the biggest diamond. I associate diamonds with how much people want to spend & can afford on a ring.
Post # 13
I can go with some people saying size = love.
At the same time, I grew up (and live) in an area where I don’t see many rings “of size”, usually it’s older women wearing them (where you’d assumed they’d traded up over the years or something).
I wouldn’t be surprised if some people think larger ones are fake, and play it off with a size = love joke, so as not to offend. Anyone can walk into K-mart or the hair store and buy a $10 ring or earrings.
I’ve gotten some odd looks with my e-ring, since I usually wear jeans, tshirts, sneakers, and a ratty hoodie while shopping the discount racks. Either they’re thinking that I don’t need to be shopping the discount racks, or my ring is fake and I’m trying to impress someone. In the area I grew up in, that’s the sort of thing people do, because they are trying to impress someone… My ring isn’t even that big. Jerks.
Post # 14
I think that people do tend to think that the amount of love is correlated to the size of the diamond. I told my fiance that I did not want a diamond (for ethical reasons), and he got me a unique ring that I love! However, I have heard that a ‘friend’ of mine was talking behind my back about how our relationship must not be very strong since my ring was so inexpensive. On the contrary, I think that the fact that my fiance and I share similar morals and values about things such as mining practices shows some of the depth of our relationship 🙂
I feel the stigma against my ring frequently; when I mention that I’m engaged, people automatically ask to see the ring (which I find odd–why don’t they ask me questions about my future husband?) and they usually say something like ‘that’s so interesting’ or ‘that’s very different/unique’. It seems that part of the stereotype might be that engaged women are more concerned with their ring or their wedding planning than they are with their fiance.
Post # 15
Interesting views, pretty much what I had suspected, but I just wanted a discussion of sorts.
And no, I wasn’t saying that size of the diamond = extent of his/her love, but more rather is that what a lot of people automatically assume?
And do people make any other perceptions/stereotypes from engagement rings aside from financial stability/extent of love? If yes, what others do people make? I can’t think of any others really…
Post # 16
@OrchidsandCandles: I just thought of another comment I got on my ring. My Darling Husband picked out the diamond on his own. I had no input besides giving suggestions for the actual setting and letting him know what shape I like. The size was all him. My ring would be considered large probably by most people. DH’s brother, (who is VERY jealous of Darling Husband and me), insinuated to the rest of the family that I’m a gold digger and must have forced Darling Husband to buy me a ring of that size.
Yeah Darling Husband shut the lid on that very quickly.
So maybe there’s a perception that a woman with a large ring is demanding and high maintenance and all about money.