conspicuous consumption

  • Relations between Conspicuous Consumption and Materialism

    Author: Małgorzata Niesiobędzka
    Institution: University of Bialystok, Poland
    Year of publication: 2018
    Source: Show
    Pages: 77-93
    DOI Address:
    PDF: kie/122/kie12204.pdf

    The research focuses on relationships between conspicuous consumption and materialism. Contrary to previous studies, here conspicuous consumption is seen as an individual trait rather than as an attitude. The purpose of the research was twofold: to establish to what extent are a) success, centrality, happiness, and b) the importance and the attainment of wealth, popularity and image responsible for conspicuous consumption. Two studies were conducted. Materialism was measured using the MVS (Richins, 2004) in study 1 (N = 80), and the Aspiration Index (Kasser & Ryan, 1996) in study 2 (N = 169). In both studies, the measure of the propensity to conspicuous consumption was the same: The Conspicuous Consumption Orientation Scale (CCO) (Chaudhuri, Mazumdar, & Ghoshal, 2011). The obtained data demonstrated that the propensity to conspicuous consumption was significantly related to only two dimensions of materialism – success and centrality. Furthermore, the results showed that while the importance of financial success and popularity enhanced the propensity to conspicuous consumption, attainment of financial and popularity aspirations had no impact on the propensity to conspicuous consumption. In turn, image (both its importance and its attainment) was a significant positive predictor of the propensity to conspicuous consumption. The research findings suggest that the crucial materialistic drivers of the propensity to conspicuous consumption are: the belief that success is closely connected with ownership; the conviction that owning and acquiring are the primary life goals; and the need to have a socially admired image.

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