ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (12): 2133-2140.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2019.02133

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How to buy happiness? The effect of purchase type on happiness

YU Ying1(), JING Feng-Jie2, YANG Yan2   

  1. 1 Department of Economic and Management, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China
    2 Business School, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237, China
  • Received:2018-12-28 Online:2019-12-15 Published:2019-10-21
  • Contact: YU Ying


Some studies demonstrate that there is no significant relationship between purchase and well-being. Other studies, however, demonstrate that purchases can increase well-being depending on ‘how to buy’. For example, several studies have found that consumers derive more happiness from experiential purchase rather than material purchase and that there are boundary conditions. The present review study aims to (1) explore the underlying mechanisms of the ‘purchase type-well-being’-relationship from the perspectives of hedonic adaptation, social benefit, anticipative benefit, and unsymmetrical regret; (2) identify boundary conditions of the main effect from three aspects, namely, personal factors, situational factors, and the types of well-being; and (3) provide an outlook of the probable future research directions of this area.

Key words: material purchase, experiential purchase, eudaimonia, hedonia, well-being

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