Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 1–22 | Cite as

Changes in materialism, changes in psychological well-being: Evidence from three longitudinal studies and an intervention experiment

  • Tim Kasser
  • Katherine L. Rosenblum
  • Arnold J. Sameroff
  • Edward L. Deci
  • Christopher P. Niemiec
  • Richard M. Ryan
  • Osp Árnadóttir
  • Rod Bond
  • Helga Dittmar
  • Nathan Dungan
  • Susan Hawks
Original Paper

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Materialism Values Goals Well-being Interventions 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tim Kasser
    • 1
  • Katherine L. Rosenblum
    • 2
  • Arnold J. Sameroff
    • 3
  • Edward L. Deci
    • 4
  • Christopher P. Niemiec
    • 4
  • Richard M. Ryan
    • 4
  • Osp Árnadóttir
    • 5
  • Rod Bond
    • 5
  • Helga Dittmar
    • 5
  • Nathan Dungan
    • 6
  • Susan Hawks
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyKnox CollegeGalesburgUSA
  2. 2.Center for Human Growth and DevelopmentUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Department of Clinical and Social PsychologyUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyUniversity of SussexBrightonUK
  6. 6.ShareSaveSpendMinneapolisUSA

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