Damned if they do, damned if they don't: Material buyers are not happier from material or experiential consumption


Numerous studies have demonstrated that experiential purchases lead to more happiness than material purchases. However, prior research suggests that some characteristics of the purchase and person may moderate this experiential advantage. Our goal was to determine if the happiness gained from experiential purchases varies for individuals with different buying tendencies. The results of three studies (N=. 675) demonstrated that material buyers, unlike experiential buyers, report equal levels of happiness from experiential and material purchases. Two mediated moderation models showed this is because material buyers report the same level of identity expression from their experiential and material purchases. The discussion focuses on why material buyers' consumption appears inconsistent with predictions from various personality theories (e.g., self-concordance, authenticity, and overall congruence). © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

Publication Title

Journal of Research in Personality