ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (10): 1811-1820.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2017.01811

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Is materialism all that bad? Challenges from empirical and conceptual research

 LI Jing; YANG Ruirui; GUO Yongyu   

  1.  (School of Psychology, Central China Normal University; Key Laboratory of Adolescent Cyberpsychology and Behavior, Ministry of Education, and Hubei Human Development and Mental Health Key Laboratory, Wuhan 430079, China)
  • Received:2017-01-10 Online:2017-10-15 Published:2017-08-13
  • Contact: GUO Yongyu, E-mail: E-mail:E-mail:
  • Supported by:

Abstract:  Materialism refers to a personal value stressing the importance of owning material possessions for life. Most of previous literature focused on studying its negative effects, but this view has been increasingly challenged. The current empirical studies demonstrated that materialism could promote happiness under certain conditions, and could be used as a compensation strategy for personal sense of insecurity. From the motivation perspective some researchers pointed out that conceptually instrumental materialism could be benign, and materialism could be considered as identity goal pursuit for self-identity construction and maintenance as well. Future research may provide more empirical evidence for the motivation-based concepts of materialism, and evaluate the effectiveness of materialism for insecurity compensation and happiness promotion. Another direction for future research would be investigating the positive impact of materialism on well-being from an integration perspective of cognition and motivation.

Key words: materialism, happiness, insecurity, instrumental-terminal materialism, identity goal pursuits

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