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Materialism: the good, the bad, and the ugly


  • L. J. Shruma Shruma

    (GREGH - Groupement de Recherche et d'Etudes en Gestion à HEC - HEC Paris - Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Tina M Lowrey

    (GREGH - Groupement de Recherche et d'Etudes en Gestion à HEC - HEC Paris - Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Mario Pandelaere

    (UGENT - Ghent University [Belgium])

  • Ayalla A. Ruvio

    (Michigan State University [East Lansing] - Michigan State University System)

  • Elodie Gentina

    (SKEMA Business School - SKEMA Business School)

  • Pia Furchheim
  • Maud Herbert
  • Liselot Hudders

    (UGENT - Ghent University [Belgium])

  • Inge Lensa

    (KU Leuven - Catholic University of Leuven - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)

  • Naomi Mandel

    (ASU - Arizona State University [Tempe])

  • Agnes Nairn

    (emlyon business school)

  • Adriana Samper

    (ASU - Arizona State University [Tempe])

  • Isabella Soscia

    (SKEMA Business School - SKEMA Business School)

  • Laurel Steinfield

    (University of Oxford [Oxford])


Materialism has a generally held connotation that is associated with character deficiencies, self-centeredness, and unhappiness, and most extant research views materialism as having a negative influence on well-being. In this article, we review and synthesise research that supports both positive and negative outcomes of behaviours associated with materialism. We conceptualise materialism in terms of the motives underlying materialistic behaviour, and situate our review and synthesis of materialism research within this context. In doing so, we document the utility of a motives-based view of materialism and propose research agendas that arise from this motives-based perspective.

Suggested Citation

  • L. J. Shruma Shruma & Tina M Lowrey & Mario Pandelaere & Ayalla A. Ruvio & Elodie Gentina & Pia Furchheim & Maud Herbert & Liselot Hudders & Inge Lensa & Naomi Mandel & Agnes Nairn & Adriana Samper & , 2014. "Materialism: the good, the bad, and the ugly," Post-Print hal-01097596, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01097596
    DOI: 10.1080/0267257X.2014.959985
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server:

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    Cited by:

    1. Davidson, Alexander & Habibi, Mohammad Reza & Laroche, Michel, 2018. "Materialism and the sharing economy: A cross-cultural study of American and Indian consumers," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 364-372.
    2. Farah Roslan, 2018. "The Role of Policy Instruments on the Pattern of Diffusion: the Case of Solar Photovoltaic in Asia Pacific," European Journal of Economics and Business Studies Articles, European Center for Science Education and Research, vol. 4, EJES Janu.
    3. Luke Butcher & Ian Phau & Min Teah, 2016. "Brand prominence in luxury consumption: Will emotional value adjudicate our longing for status?," Journal of Brand Management, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 23(6), pages 701-715, November.
    4. Joseph K Goodman & Selin A Malkoc & Mosi Rosenboim, 2019. "The Material-Experiential Asymmetry in Discounting: When Experiential Purchases Lead to More Impatience," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 671-688.
    5. Jaspers, Esther, 2018. "Opening up on consumer materialism," Other publications TiSEM a21cb1c8-5af1-46cc-9ea0-a, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    6. Vilches-Montero, Sonia & Nik Hashim, Nik Mohd Hazrul & Pandit, Ameet & Bravo-Olavarria, Renzo, 2018. "Using the senses to evaluate aesthetic products at the point of sale: The moderating role of consumers’ goals," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 82-90.
    7. Lindblom, Arto & Lindblom, Taru & Wechtler, Heidi, 2018. "Collaborative consumption as C2C trading: Analyzing the effects of materialism and price consciousness," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 244-252.
    8. Lim, Weng Marc & Phang, Cynthia Su Chen & Lim, Ai Ling, 2020. "The effects of possession- and social inclusion-defined materialism on consumer behavior toward economical versus luxury product categories, goods versus services product types, and individual versus ," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 56(C).
    9. Kapferer, Jean-Noël & Valette-Florence, Pierre, 2019. "How self-success drives luxury demand: An integrated model of luxury growth and country comparisons," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 273-287.
    10. Moldes, Olaya & Banerjee, Robin & Easterbrook, Matthew J. & Harris, Peter R. & Dittmar, Helga, 2019. "Identity changes and well-being gains of spending money on material and experiential consumer products," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 229-244.
    11. Olivier Mesly & David W. Shanafelt & Nicolas Huck, 2020. "From wheel of fortune to wheel of misfortune: Financial crises, cycles and consumer predation," Working Papers of BETA 2020-35, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    12. Vittoria Marino & Riccardo Resciniti & Mario D’Arco, 2020. "It’s all about marketing! Exploring the social perception in the Italian context," Italian Journal of Marketing, Springer, vol. 2020(1), pages 7-23, March.
    13. Sandra Awanis & Bodo B Schlegelmilch & Charles Chi Cui, 2017. "Asia’s materialists: Reconciling collectivism and materialism," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 48(8), pages 964-991, October.


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