Readers that have kept up with my blog, have heard me talk about consumer behavior, psychology and impulse behavior which can lead to unpleasant things like living paycheck to paycheck. I’ve profiled other people and reviewed the literature that others have been so fortunate to conduct before me. Now, it’s come to the point where I’ve self-reflected in deep thought and began to analyze the deeper reason behind the value one places in their material goods.
Before, I begin, I am not going to preach about the trials and tribulations of the consumption of material goods. The latest crazes and technology do put a hole in our pocket, but some things are just necessary and a little moderation never hurt anyone. However, it becomes a problem when after the purchase you experience guilt, or when the credit card bill comes and you can only manage to make the minimum payment. My research has led me to conclude that there are two types of consumers: one being the high-materialism and other, you guessed it, low-materialism. To clarify conventional wisdom defines materialism as the “importance ascribed to the ownership and acquisition of material goods in achieving major life goals or desired states.” Scientists have also gone as far as creating the Material Values Scale, which conveniently rates just how materialistic you are. Basically the more materialistic you are, the higher you rate on this scale.
The research I found claims that those rating on high on the Material Values Scale placed great importance on material items yet lacked the desire to better themselves. Most of those people were less happy with their incomes, jobs and lives in general. It might be a leap to assume that they solve their problems by just going shopping (however this is the case for many). However, I aim to explore the deeper reasons behind impulse purchases and find a correlation between dissatisfaction with one’s life and the desire to obtain material goods. The other side of the research coin claims that those who value material items very little are ones that seek self-improvement and have a better sense of self-awareness. I’m going to create an online questionnaire that will ask a series of questions and I hope to make the connection that those who are self-aware and comfortable with themselves will will tend to place a lower value on material goods. Just a fun little quiz - How Materialistic Are You? (keep in mind this is just a fun quiz, not the actual Material Values Scale)