Varieties of materialism: An analysis of differential relations with Material Values facets

01 January 2019 → 31 December 2022
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Applied economics
    • Economic history
    • Macroeconomics and monetary economics
    • Microeconomics
    • Tourism
Project description

Materialism is often defined as a multifaceted construct but extant research typically treats it as a
monolithic one. In fact, very little research has examined whether and how different aspects of
materialism relate to other constructs. The current project examines whether different aspects of
materialism are related with different forms of consumption and underlying motives for it. It
specifically tests if some materialism aspects are related to an interest in status consumption while
other aspects are related to consumption of popular, non-status products. It also extends research
on the relation between materialism and well-being by testing if some aspects are not negatively
related to subjective well-being (as implied by a host of previous research) and by examining the
role of a felt material lack in life in the relation between materialism and well-being. I specifically
propose that the relation between the latter two constructs may in part be spurious as both may be
caused by the same felt lack in life. Finally, the present project contributes to research on individual
differences in greed by examining whether greed and materialism imply different mindsets. While
greed may be associated with a more-is-better mindset, this may not always be the case for
materialism (viz. when it conflicts with status concerns). This difference should display itself in
different positional choices as well as in different evaluations of alphanumeric brand names.