Date: 16 Jul 2013
Changes in materialism, changes in psychological well-being: Evidence from three longitudinal studies and an intervention experiment
Few studies have examined how changes in materialism relate to changes in well-being; fewer have experimentally manipulated materialism to change well-being. Studies 1, 2, and 3 examined how changes in materialistic aspirations related to changes in well-being, using varying time frames (12 years, 2 years, and 6 months), samples (US young adults and Icelandic adults), and measures of materialism and well-being. Across all three studies, results supported the hypothesis that people’s well-being improves as they place relatively less importance on materialistic goals and values, whereas orienting toward materialistic goals relatively more is associated with decreases in well-being over time. Study 2 additionally demonstrated that this association was mediated by changes in psychological need satisfaction. A fourth, experimental study showed that highly materialistic US adolescents who received an intervention that decreased materialism also experienced increases in self-esteem over the next several months, relative to a control group. Thus, well-being changes as people change their relative focus on materialistic goals.
After the first author, the remaining authors are listed in alphabetical order within the study to which they most contributed, in the order that the four studies are reported in this article.
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- Changes in materialism, changes in psychological well-being: Evidence from three longitudinal studies and an intervention experiment
Motivation and Emotion
Volume 38, Issue 1 , pp 1-22
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- 1. Department of Psychology, Knox College, Galesburg, IL, 61401, USA
- 2. Center for Human Growth and Development, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
- 3. Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
- 4. Department of Clinical and Social Psychology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA
- 5. Department of Psychology, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK
- 6. ShareSaveSpend, Minneapolis, MN, USA