Attention Shoppers: We no longer have the following items -- "a sense of entitlement," "conspicuous consumption" and "a golden period of luxury." At least that is the word from Wharton faculty and other experts who point to a new logic that is defining not just what U.S. consumers buy, but how they view the shopping experience.

While shoppers typically pull back during the downward phase of any economic cycle, the severity and uncertainty of today's crisis is likely to have longer-lasting effects on their attitudes than most slumps, these experts note. Consumers, they suggest, will eventually start spending again, but without the vigor enabled by easy credit in the Roaring 2000s.

"The Great Depression certainly changed consumer behavior and attitudes for a generation," says Wharton marketing professor Wesley Hutchinson. "It's not obvious that we will have that psychological scar, but there is precedent for a very large shift."

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