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Materialistic cues make us miserable: a meta‐analysis of the experimental evidence for the effects of materialism on individual and societal well‐being

Moldes Andres, Olaya and Ku, Lisbeth 2020. Materialistic cues make us miserable: a meta‐analysis of the experimental evidence for the effects of materialism on individual and societal well‐being. Psychology and Marketing 10.1002/mar.21387

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Abstract

Consumer-oriented societies are awash with materialistic messages that link happiness and success to wealth and consumption. However, despite extensive research evidence that dispositional materialistic orientations are correlated with lower well-being, the effects of materialistic cues on the well-being of individuals and social groups have not been examined. The present research meta-analytically reviews the experimental evidence for the causal effects of materialism on two dimensions of well-being: (1) individual, and (2) societal. We included 27 independent studies that met the inclusion criteria of priming materialism and measuring well-being (N = 3,649), containing a total of 62 effect sizes. Multi-level modelling revealed that materialism has an effect on both individual (δ = -.39) and societal well-being (δ = -.41), suggesting that materialistic cues cause lower well-being. Moderation effects suggested that materialistic cues might have a higher effect on interpersonal well-being than on self-evaluation indicators. We discuss the limitations of the current evidence, highlight the research gaps and underdeveloped areas, and provide recommendations such as minimum sample size for future experimental work, since the advancement of this area will help us to gain a better understanding of the impact of consumer-oriented societies on the well-being of individuals and social groups.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society (BRASS)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0742-6046
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 23 June 2020
Date of Acceptance: 5 June 2020
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2020 11:23
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/132665

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