Buying Life Experiences for the "Right" Reasons: A Validation of the Motivations for Experiential Buying Scale


Although numerous studies have demonstrated the hedonic benefits of spending money on life experiences instead of material possessions, there has been no attempt to determine how different motivations for experiential consumption relate to psychological need satisfaction and well-being. Across five studies (N = 931), guided by self-determination theory, we developed a reliable and valid measure of motivation for experiential consumption-the Motivation for Experiential Buying Scale-to test these relations. Those who spend money on life experience for autonomous reasons (e.g., "because they are an integral part of my life") report more autonomy, competence, relatedness, flourishing, and vitality; however, those who spend money on life experiences for controlled (e.g., "for the recognition I'll get from others") or amotivated reasons (e.g., "I don't really know") reported less autonomy, competence, and relatedness. These results demonstrated that the benefits of experiential consumption depend on why one buys life experiences. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Publication Title

Journal of Happiness Studies