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The material and immaterial in conflict: Spirituality reduces conspicuous consumption

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  • Stillman, Tyler F.
  • Fincham, Frank D.
  • Vohs, Kathleen D.
  • Lambert, Nathaniel M.
  • Phillips, Christa A.
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    Abstract

    Many spiritual leaders have argued that materialistic pursuits are incompatible with following a spiritual life. Consistent with this view, we found that higher levels of spirituality correspond to a decreased desire to consume material goods in a conspicuous manner. Study 1 was correlational, and found that people who reported having spiritual experiences reported a decreased desire to spend lavishly for visible consumer goods, such as a cell phone. Study 2 was experimental, and found that participants assigned to recall a spiritual event also demonstrated a decreased desire to consume conspicuously, relative to participants assigned to recall an enjoyable event.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

    Volume (Year): 33 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 1-7

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:33:y:2012:i:1:p:1-7

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

    Related research

    Keywords: Spirituality; Religion; Materialism; Conspicuous consumption; Spending;

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    References

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    1. Kathleen D. Vohs & Ronald J. Faber, 2007. "Spent Resources: Self-Regulatory Resource Availability Affects Impulse Buying," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(4), pages 537-547, 01.
    2. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Erik Hurst & Nikolai Roussanov, 2009. "Conspicuous Consumption and Race," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(2), pages 425-467, May.
    3. Davies, Emma & Lea, Stephen E. G., 1995. "Student attitudes to student debt," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 663-679, December.
    4. Wendy Wan & Chung-Leung Luk & Oliver Yau & Alan Tse & Leo Sin & Kenneth Kwong & Raymond Chow, 2009. "Do Traditional Chinese Cultural Values Nourish a Market for Pirated CDs?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 88(1), pages 185-196, April.
    5. Wilfred Amaldoss & Sanjay Jain, 2005. "Conspicuous Consumption and Sophisticated Thinking," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(10), pages 1449-1466, October.
    6. Watson, John J., 2003. "The relationship of materialism to spending tendencies, saving, and debt," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 723-739, December.
    7. Aric Rindfleisch & James E. Burroughs & Nancy Wong, 2009. "The Safety of Objects: Materialism, Existential Insecurity, and Brand Connection," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 1-16, 06.
    8. Kilbourne, William & Grünhagen, Marko & Foley, Janice, 2005. "A cross-cultural examination of the relationship between materialism and individual values," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 624-641, October.
    9. Sood, James & Nasu, Yukio, 1995. "Religiosity and nationality : An exploratory study of their effect on consumer behavior in Japan and the United States," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 1-9, September.
    10. Burroughs, James E & Rindfleisch, Aric, 2002. " Materialism and Well-Being: A Conflicting Values Perspective," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(3), pages 348-70, December.
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    Cited by:
    1. Guven, Cahit, 2012. "Reversing the question: Does happiness affect consumption and savings behavior?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 701-717.

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