ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (5): 914-925.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2019.00914

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The features and theories of materialists’ self-concept

ZHOU Jing1, XIE Tian2()   

  1. 1 School of Education, Jianghan University, Wuhan 430056, China
    2 Department of Psychology, Philosophy School, Wuhan 430072, China
  • Received:2018-05-23 Online:2019-05-15 Published:2019-03-20
  • Contact: XIE Tian


Classical studies define and understand the phenomenon of materialism from the perspective of a person’s traits, values, goals, and needs. Although self-concept has always been a clue through materialism research, researchers have recently attempted to synthesize the existing research on self-concept. Relevant studies have shown that materialists’ self-evaluation is low and their self-knowledge is inconsistent. Low self-evaluation is characterized by low self-esteem, contingent self-esteem. The inconsistent self-knowledge is manifested by an unclear self-concept, a discrepancy in explicit and implicit self-esteem, and self-disparity (a discrepancy between notions of an ideal and real self). Two recent comprehensive theories- the theory of materialistic escape from the self and identity goal pursuits theory of materialism-suggest that materialism is one’s use of material possession as a means of escaping from one’s self-awareness or as a means of constructing and pursuing self-identity. By well interpreting the existing research findings, these two theories make up for the lack of integration theories of materialism research. Future research should transcend the materialists’ self-deficiency approach and make greater theoretical contributions by borrowing the theories of self-concept.

Key words: materialism, self-concept, theory of materialistic escape from the self, identity goal pursuits theory of materialism

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