Materialism through a Magnifying Glass: A Comprehensive Model of the Antecedents and Consequences of Three Facets of Materialism

Sigal Segev, Aviv Shoham, Yossi Gavish

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Materialism, the importance that people attach to possessions that become central to their lives (Richins and Dawson 1992), has recently received renewed attention in the media and in the public discourse in the wake of the global economic crisis. Materialism is viewed as a system of personal values with possessions and acquisitions as the main personal goal that dictate one’s way of life (Richins and Dawson 1992). For materialists, possessions and their acquisition are central, providing meanings and structure to their lives, are essential to their satisfaction with life, well-being and happiness, define success, and project desired images of themselves. Materialism is perceived as the “dark side” of consumer behavior due to the motives related to its pursue as well as the behavioral and cognitive consequences that are an outgrowth of this quest. For example, research found materialism was positively related to a lack of happiness, depression, anxiety, negative emotions, and low self esteem (e.g., Chang and Arking 2002; Christopher and Schlenker 2004; Kasser 2002; Kasser and Ahuvia 2002; Saunders and Munro 2000; Solberg et al. 2004). In addition, materialism was found to be related to a number of consequences such as a lack of overall life satisfaction (e.g., Ahuvia and Wong 2002; Belk, 1985; Mick 1996; Richins and Dawson 1992), exploitation of natural resources (Banerjee and McKeage 1994; Saunders 2007), time spent shopping (Fitzmaurice and Comegys 2006). Previous studies mainly examined these relationships by viewing materialism as an overall construct. Using Richins and Dawson’s (1992) conceptualization of materialism, this study places happiness, centrality, and success—facets of materialism—as individual-level characteristics in the center of a model with several antecedents (i.e. depression, anxiety, self-esteem, and negative affect) and consequences (i.e., time spent shopping, environmentalism, innovativeness, and life satisfaction). This closer look into materialism facets, its antecedents and consequences provides a fine-grained model for understanding materialism. Thus, some domains are more associated with specific drivers and consequences, but not others.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDevelopments in Marketing Science
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages1
StatePublished - 2015

Publication series

NameDevelopments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
ISSN (Print)2363-6165
ISSN (Electronic)2363-6173

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Academy of Marketing Science.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing
  • Strategy and Management


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