THEORETICAL BACKGROUND – There are several approaches to the concept of materialism, i.e. material values in philosophy, psychology, and theology. In this paper, we examine Richins and Dawson’s notion of materialism, which encompasses the beliefs and attitudes that fundamentally determine an individual’s consumer behavior and the associated Material Values Scale.
GOALS – In this paper, we examine the Hungarian adaptation of the Material Values Scale and analyze its construct and convergent validity and reliability using classical and modern test theory.
METHODS – Our sample consisted of 1,326 respondents (male: 236 and female: 1,090; mean age: 37.00 years, SD = 12.38), who completed the Material Values Scale, the Sense of Coherence Scale, the Perceived Peer Support Questionnaire, the Work–Family Conflict Questionnaire, and answered a question on religiosity. The survey was an online interface.
RESULTS – Both factor analyses and an examination of the item response curves show that the validity of the reverse items of the questionnaire is questionable, as respondents have different attitudes towards these items. They form a separate factor in the factor structure. In addition, the items do not discriminate well between respondents at different scale levels, and there is a high propensity to agree with them (low difficulty parameter). Considering the results, the reverse items can be discarded, and the three subscales of the questionnaire, as well as the total score of the material values, can be interpreted without them ((χ2 (115) = 368.45, p ≤ 0.001; RMSEA [90% CI] = 0.058 [0.052–0.065]; CFI = 0.908; TLI = 0.878; SRMR = 0.051)). The reliability of the scales and the overall questionnaire is good (Global factor ω = 0.861; Possession as success ω = 0.797; Centrality of possession ω = 0.700; Possession as a source of happiness ω = 0.777). Convergent validity with the constructs tested is negligible (Kendall’s τ = -0.272– 0.202, p ≤ 0.01). In addition, taking into account certain demographic factors, Possession as success (F(3, 674) = 11.882; p ≤ 0.001; η2 = 0.051) and Centrality of possession (F(3, 674) = 10.148; p ≤ 0.001; η2 = 0.041) differentiate well across generations. For younger people, the central element that defines success in life is possession. The Possession as a source of happiness dimension (F(3, 586) = 7.881; p ≤ 0.001; η2 = 0.039) differentiates religious people from less religious people.
CONCLUSIONS – A content analysis of the items of the Material Values Scale suggests that the reverse items may not fit the structure for several reasons. On the one hand, the wording of these items makes them more difficult to understand for the respondents. On the other hand, their content is more complex, and there is a tendency to compare with the outside world. Lastly, their content reflects post-material values that trigger socially desirable processes in the respondent that encourage consent. An investigation of these findings from the point of view of the conception of materialism is strongly recommended for the future.
Keywords: factor structure, reverse items, confirmatory factor analysis, psychometric analysis, Material Values Scale