Article

Minimalism as a Sustainable Lifestyle: Its Behavioral Representations and Contributions to Emotional Well-Being

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Abstract

The increasingly prevalent minimalism of individuals’ lifestyles and its broad impact on sustainability has largely been expressed as conjecture among journalists and bloggers; thus, neither a concrete empirical definition nor scientific evidence of its effects has yet been firmly established in the academic literature. We propose minimalism as a deliberate paradigm shift in consumer behavior based on the principle of a sustainable lifestyle and seek to provide its operationalization and evidence of its effects on emotional well-being. In Study 1, we explore how minimalism is structured by synthesizing existing measures of relevant constructs and other potential indicators that could represent the concept and formulate the operationalization of minimalism. In Study 2, we develop and test a structural model that depicts the effects of minimalism on positive emotion (flourishing) and negative emotion (depression). Highly valid data were collected from a nationwide consumer panel sample (N = 1,050), and a series of hierarchical confirmatory factor analyses and structural equation modeling were conducted for primary analytic methods. As a result, the second-order model of minimalism identifies and confirms the hierarchical structure of minimalism, which consists of four distinctive yet related behavioral representations: clutter removal, cautious shopping, longevity, and self-sufficiency. The results also indicate that minimalism enhances flourishing while alleviating depression. Our study opens the door for future research to deepen the understanding of minimalism and explore additional contributions that minimalism can make. Furthermore, our research provides a clear rationale as to why it is worthwhile for consumers to incorporate minimalism into their lifestyle, which can in turn motivate manufacturers and producers to seek more sustainable modes of production that accord with the minimalist lifestyle.

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... Além do tipo de consumo, este estudo teve como objetivo identificar a influência da redução do consumo, através do minimalismo, sobre a felicidade. O minimalismo é um estilo de vida sustentável em que os indivíduos reduzem consideravelmente seus bens materiaista, seja pela resistência ao acúmulo de bens materiais, seja pelo comportamento de compra cauteloso de bens materiais (Kang et al., 2021). O minimalismo pode ser descrito como um estilo de vida que atende aos objetivos de bem-estar pessoal e consumo sustentável (Kang et al., 2021;Kasser, 2009;Lloyd & Pennington, 2020), o que o torna um antecedente para a felicidade (Alexander & Ussher, 2012;Boujbel & d'Astous, 2012). ...
... O minimalismo é um estilo de vida sustentável em que os indivíduos reduzem consideravelmente seus bens materiaista, seja pela resistência ao acúmulo de bens materiais, seja pelo comportamento de compra cauteloso de bens materiais (Kang et al., 2021). O minimalismo pode ser descrito como um estilo de vida que atende aos objetivos de bem-estar pessoal e consumo sustentável (Kang et al., 2021;Kasser, 2009;Lloyd & Pennington, 2020), o que o torna um antecedente para a felicidade (Alexander & Ussher, 2012;Boujbel & d'Astous, 2012). Nesse contexto, acreditamos que as pessoas que consomem menos materiais, irão preferir o consumo experiencial e, consequentemente, aumentar sua felicidade. ...
... A simplicidade voluntária (SV) é a escolha do livre arbítrio para limitar os gastos com bens e serviços e cultivar fontes não-materialistas de satisfação e significado (Etzioni, 1998), o que resulta em um estilo de vida anticonsumidor ou de consumo reduzido, opondo-se ao consumo elevado (Alexander, 2011). O minimalismo é um estilo de vida que se aproxima da SV (Hausen, 2019), porque é um estilo de vida em que os indivíduos buscam redução de consumo material e acúmulo de posses (Kang et al., 2021), porém não se aproximam de orientações ambientais ou sociopolíticas como a SV (Elgin & Mitchell, 1977;Kang et al., 2021;Kraisornsuthasinee & Swierczek, 2018). Segundo Dopierała (2017), o minimalismo é uma "segunda onda" de SV que se alinha mais com a redução do consumo porque traz de volta o consumismo como fonte de significado. ...
Conference Paper
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O objetivo desta pesquisa é propor e testar um modelo teórico que represente a relação entre minimalismo, felicidade, satisfação com a vida e consumo experiencial. Foi realizada uma pesquisa com 395 corredores amadores brasileiros e os dados foram analisados pela técnica de Modelagem de Equações Estruturais. Os principais resultados mostraram que a satisfação com a vida e o consumo experiencial influenciaram positivamente a felicidade, e o minimalismo influenciou o consumo experiencial. Além disso, o minimalismo não influenciou a felicidade. O modelo proposto mostrou que a satisfação com a vida e o consumo experiencial explicam 54,2% da felicidade dos praticantes de lazer. A pesquisa avança nas relações de consumo experiencial e na felicidade e destaca que um estilo de vida minimalista, através da redução do consumo, não aumenta a felicidade. Contudo, se incentivamos o consumo de experiências, a felicidade é incrementada. Consequentemente, se as pessoas buscarem por mais experiências, poderão preterir o consumo material e, naturalmente, reduzir esse tipo de consumo.
... Voluntary simplicity (VS) is the choice of free will to limit spending on goods and services and to cultivate non-materialistic sources of satisfaction and meaning (Etzioni 1998), which results in an anti-consumerist or reduced consumption lifestyle, opposing high consumption (Alexander 2011). Minimalism is a lifestyle close to VS (Hausen 2019) because individuals seek reduced material consumption and accumulation of possessions (Kang et al. 2021). However, it does not approximate environmental or sociopolitical orientations like VS (Elgin and Mitchell 1977;Kang et al. 2021;Kraisornsuthasinee and Swierczek 2018). ...
... Minimalism is a lifestyle close to VS (Hausen 2019) because individuals seek reduced material consumption and accumulation of possessions (Kang et al. 2021). However, it does not approximate environmental or sociopolitical orientations like VS (Elgin and Mitchell 1977;Kang et al. 2021;Kraisornsuthasinee and Swierczek 2018). According to Dopierała (2017), minimalism is a "second wave" of VS that aligns more with reducing consumption because it retrieves consumerism as a source of meaning. ...
... Anderson and Heyne (2016, p. 124) mentioned that "Changing one's lifestyle is an important pathway to well-being." This argument highlights the importance of daily positive changes, like minimalization (Kang et al. 2021). Anderson and Heyne's (2016) theory explains that a path to a lifestyle change is supported and driven by positive emotions that help behavior change. ...
Article
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This research objective is to propose and test a theoretical model representing the relationship between minimalism, happiness, life satisfaction, and experiential consumption. A survey with 395 Brazilian amateur runners was conducted, and the structural equation modeling technique was used for data analysis. The main results showed that life satisfaction and experiential consumption positively influence happiness, and minimalism influences experiential consumption in the sample studied. Furthermore, minimalism did not influence happiness. The proposed framework showed that life satisfaction and experiential consumption explain 54.2% of the happiness of leisure practitioners. Because people generally do not increase their happiness by choosing a simple lifestyle, they can decrease consumption by incentives other than happiness. Therefore, public policies aimed at raising awareness of the importance of reducing consumption should focus on other benefits, such as the benefits that can be gained from leisure and experiential consumption.
... Basically minimalism as an example of anti-consumer-oriented social practices ('Minimalism -a New Mode of Consumption?', 2017). Currently minimalism become trend among youth (Kang et al., 2021;Pangarkar et al., 2021). The expanding consumerist movement known as "minimalism" encourages people to disconnect themselves from their material demands and possessions (Boutroy, 2021). ...
... According to the conceptual framework of the International research network on Sustainable Fashion Consumption, consumption of fashion is comprised of three key phases: acquisition, use, and disposal, and at each of these phases, consumers can engage into more sustainable consumption practices . The widest spectrum of options is available at the acquisition phase, from different forms of collaborative fashion consumptionincluding buying second-hand, swapping, and renting garments , to buying less all together (Kang et al., 2021;Vladimirova, 2021). Admittedly, only a handful of studies (Mukendi and Henninger, 2020) have measured the sustainability dimensions of different forms fashion consumption that are considered "sustainable" . ...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic caused and still causes unprecedented disruptions in daily lives of billions of people globally. It affects practices and routines across all household consumption domains, including clothing consumption. Drawing on Social Practice Theory, this article explores and compares changes in clothing acquisition practices during COVID-19 across nine countries: the USA, the UK, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, Iran, Czech Republic, India, and Hong Kong SAR. Data was obtained through a standardized survey containing rated and open-ended questions, which were analyzed through descriptive quantitative analysis and inductive qualitative content analysis of open-ended questions. The results of this cross-country research indicate that all forms of fashion consumption, including more sustainable practices, have decreased during the pandemic. The most visible impacts have occurred in the material arrangements associated with fashion acquisition practices (e.g., closed physical shops, shipping disruptions, cancelled events, remote work, etc.). However, changes that result from these disruptions may be shorter-lived that changes that happened as a result of changing meanings associated with fashion consumption and its more sustainable forms and new competencies and skills acquired during the pandemic that could ensure more lasting practicing of more sustainable forms of fashion consumption.
... basically minimalism as an example of anti-consumer-oriented social practices ('Minimalism -a New Mode of Consumption?', 2017). Currently minimalism become trend among youth (Kang et al., 2021;Pangarkar et al., 2021). The expanding consumerist movement known as "minimalism" encourages people to disconnect themselves from their material demands and possessions (Boutroy, 2021). ...
Presentation
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Eco-friendly schools are currently popular among Malaysian middle and upper classes. because they teach youngsters about minimalism and provide an eco-friendly learning environment. They teach children about minimalism and provide an eco-friendly learning environment. The trendy minimalist lifestyle is the opponent of overconsumption. In Islam, a minimalist lifestyle is considered as an effort to raise muslim knowledge of environmental issues while respecting Maqasid al-Sharia values (Hifz al-biah). In education, students' knowledge, perspectives, and interests determine overall understanding and acceptance of minimalism. 74 students from three Eco-high schools in Kuala Lumpur participated in our quantitative study, which was evaluated with SPSS 20. Respondents must be Muslim, and the majority are Malays. The questionnaire has four sections, one for demographics and three for factors. The study found high total average knowledge (Min=3.86, SP=.573), perception (Min 3.90, SP=.477), and curiosity (Min 3.86, SP=.573). The study found that pupils had good stage awareness. The majority of students believe that minimalism is the implementation of Zuhd (asceticism) that always feel Qanaah (always feel enough) and is vital to increasing awareness toward zero-waste.
... Social scientists are only recently beginning to study people attracted to this movement toward minimalism (Kang et al., 2021;Lloyd & Pennington, 2020). However, the concept of minimalism is similar to the construct of voluntary simplicity, which has received considerable scientific attention over the years (Reboucas & Soares, 2021). ...
Article
Research has accumulated over the years to support the adage that ‘money can’t buy happiness.’ As an alternative to the high-consumption lifestyle often found in Western cultures, voluntary simplicity (also referred to as minimalism), involves a lifestyle that is focused on reducing consumption and the excess in one’s life so that individuals can focus on prioritizing their values. We reviewed the empirical literature for studies that explored the relationship between voluntary simplicity and well-being. Twenty-three empirical studies were identified. Overall, a consistent positive relationship was found between voluntary simplicity and well-being. Potential mechanisms to explain this relationship included the control of consumption desires and psychological need satisfaction. Potential moderator variables included income, age, and the extent to which voluntary simplicity was self- vs. other-initiated. We concluded by discussing limitations and future directions for research.
... Finally, the principle of minimal dislocation requires that the side-effects, if any, ought not only to be voluntarily accepted but also minimized, a condition that is obviously likely to facilitate their voluntary acceptance (cf. Kang et al., 2021 ). ...
Article
In a recent contribution to this journal, Peter Bradley (2021) explores the ways in which new institutional economics and classical institutional economics approach the notion of sustainability. Drawing on insights from both schools of economic thought, Bradley (2021) synthesizes a conceptual framework for understanding sustainable production and consumption. Building on this framework, the present paper undertakes a Luhmannian systems-theoretic analysis of the ways in which a notion of sustainability is implicated within the normative foundations of classical institutional economics which comprise the paradigms of instrumental and reasonable value. A Luhmannian reconstruction of these paradigms reveals that both of them share a vision of sustainability problems which arise out of the precarious nature of environmental embeddedness of many types of social systems. In line with the instrumental value paradigm, corporations and other types of social systems are supposed to utilize the community stock of reliable scientific and technological knowledge. At the same time, this paradigm is shown to contain the moral conditions of the disclosure and voluntary acceptance of any side-effects of the systems’ operations. The reasonable value paradigm imposes the additional requirement that the working rules constituting the relevant social system must be perceived by the affected stakeholders as fair and legitimate. This argument illuminates the ongoing debates on the conceptualization of corporate sustainability within classical institutional economics while highlighting the potential contributions of this school of thought to informing the scholarship on sustainable production and consumption.
... Several of the interviewed businesses offered products with high quality and durability, as well as supports for further extending the lifetime (e.g., repair, reuse, providing spare parts). With growing sustainability awareness and new lifestyles, such as minimalism ( Kang et al., 2021 ), or the Gregarious Simplifier lifestyle that could emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic ( Echegaray, 2021 ), long-life products and experience-based consumption might grow in relevance, an opportunity that seems reflected in the generally increasing demand that interviewed companies encountered. ...
Article
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The breaching of planetary boundaries and excessive extraction of natural resources requires a revisited approach to consumption and production. The concept of sufficiency, which advocates meeting human needs within the planetary limits by curbing excessive consumption levels, is gaining increasing attention. Businesses are drivers of consumption, yet they have been largely overlooked as potential leaders towards a sufficiency-based economy and research on businesses driving sustainable consumption strategically is still a niche. The methods applied here are a literature and practice review and interviews to understand the state-of-the-art in sufficiency-oriented business strategies and develop a framework for future research and practice. Merging English- and German-language research, a base matrix of the waste hierarchy and the four lessens is presented. This matrix is populated with business sufficiency strategies, condensing existing work and creating the ‘Business for Sufficiency’ (BfS) framework. Empirical research with businesses already employing sufficiency strategies refines and validates the framework and sheds light on the viability, desirability, feasibility and sustainability of such offers, highlighting barriers and opportunities. The most prevalent strategies fall into the Rethink framework dimension which require the least radical changes. In addition, interviewees highlighted obstacles in reconciling more radical strategies such as Moderating sales with their financial sustainability. Yet, all interviewees stressed the need for reduced consumption and the role that business should play in enabling sufficiency, demonstrating the relevance of this topic for future research and practice.
... Information and guidelines, as well as engagement options, are usually presented in the form of blogs or posts on social media. The concepts of "minimalism" and "minimalist lifestyles" have been gaining more prominence in popular Western culture recently (Meissner 2019;Kang, Martinez, and Johnson 2021). Echoing the philosophy of a long-standing movement toward voluntary simplicity (Elgin and Mitchell 1977), recent popular self-help books on minimalism question how many possessions one needs and promise to liberate the reader from the perpetual "rat race" by downshifting what one owns and how long one works (Crabbe 2014;Sasaki 2015;Loreau 2017). ...
Article
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Following food, mobility, and household-energy use, the consumption of textiles and fashion in Europe has been identified as the fourth highest environmental pressure category in terms of use of primary resources. Slow fashion advocates argue that it is necessary to reevaluate our relationship with clothes and to reduce overall fashion consumption in affluent countries. This article examines a relatively new practice of voluntary reduction of apparel consumption through the lens of three popular online minimalist fashion challenges that encourage participants to use a limited number of clothes, shoes, and accessories over a certain period. It explores how the initiators of the challenges frame the reasons that lead to downsizing, the benefits from undertaking the challenge and the idea of “good life” as the result of living with less. The findings indicate that rationales for voluntary reduction of apparel consumption are more focused on individual wellbeing than on altruistic concerns. The analysis also suggests that in defining an upper limit in apparel consumption (how many garments a wardrobe should contain), numerical indicators serve as a benchmark rather than a goal.
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Unsustainable clothing consumption patterns, especially prevalent in the Global North, have come to the spotlight of media, policy-makers and the academic community in recent years. Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the routine lives of citizens globally, which has impacted some consumers’ attitudes towards fashion and consumption practices. This study employs terror management theory and voluntary simplicity to explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on consumers’ attitudes towards clothing consumption across six different countries, from the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Europe and North America. A structured qualitative study with closed, open-ended and multiple-choice questions was completed by a sample of consumers ( N = 3748) across these countries. Among all participants of this study one-third reported that the pandemic had affected their attitude towards clothing and this study was mainly conducted to investigate the nature of those attitude changes. Qualitative analysis identified patterns of change in consumers’ attitude towards clothing (e.g., minimalism, grateful mindset, conscious mindset, decreased fashion desire, longevity and style confidence), which reveal potential for a lasting shift towards more sustainable consumption patterns. The results of this study highlight valuable managerial implications: the industry needs to respond to this shift in consumers’ attitude and move towards more sustainable business models and processes. Sufficiency-oriented business offerings, in particular, are becoming more accepted in the fashion industry. Moreover, these results are relevant for predicting future consumption patterns, especially considering that pandemics may become a more regular part of life.
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Many scholars agree overconsumption is a serious ethical problem because of its adverse effects on the environment. This multimethod article uses two studies to explore the ethical underpinnings of two related consumer expressions of anticonsumption: nonmaterialism, which refers to not placing importance on material goods, and voluntary simplicity, which refers to reducing consumption behavior. Study 1 employs Structural Equation Models of secondary U.S. data and finds that nonmaterialism and voluntary simplicity have unique ethical underpinnings: Nonmaterialism is positively associated with an ethical ideology focused on universal rules and principles while voluntary simplicity is associated with an ethical ideology focused on the consequences of one's actions. Because engagement in voluntary simplicity can reduce overconsumption, Study 2 identifies which specific other‐oriented environmental concerns increase voluntary simplicity and for whom. An online experiment indicates that concerns about contributing to landfill waste and depleting natural resources induce voluntary simplicity for those who base their decisions on consequentialist ethical ideologies and concerns about contributing to climate change increases voluntary simplicity across consumers. These findings contribute to the discussion on anticonsumption by delineating key anticonsumption constructs, identifying messages to effectively reduce consumption behavior, and identifying consumers who are most likely to respond to such appeals.
Thesis
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Goal contents theory (Kasser & Ryan, 1993, 1996, 2001; Ryan & Deci, 2017) holds that intrinsic life goals (personal growth, relationships, community giving, and health) and extrinsic life goals (wealth, fame, and image) differentially relate to psychological well-being. Intrinsic life goals, or aspirations, inherently satisfy basic psychological needs and therefore promote optimal functioning, while an emphasis on extrinsic aspirations represents a reliance on external contingencies which, at best, only indirectly satisfies basic psychological needs. Despite abundant evidence supporting goal contents theory, positive links between extrinsic aspiring and well-being, observed particularly in Eastern European countries, have led some authors to contend that extrinsic aspirations may not be damaging in all contexts (Frost & Frost, 2000; Rijavec, Brdar, & Miljković, 2011). In addition, the frequently observed positive correlation between intrinsic and extrinsic aspirations suggests that they are not universally divergent. Indeed, consistent unexplained heterogeneity in the results indicates there are unobserved sources of heterogeneity in the data, suggesting there may be subgroups with distinct patterns of aspiring. In Chapter 2 of this thesis, a meta-analysis of more than 1’000 effect sizes showed support for the universality of goal contents theory across countries, age groups, and socioeconomic statuses. In Chapters 3, 4, and 5, bifactor structural equation modelling (B-ESEM) was combined with latent profile analysis (LPA) in three large, independent samples from Hungary, Australia, and the United States of America, and derived three replicable profiles of aspiring. Chapters 4 and 5 showed that profile membership predicted additional variance in well-being, even in highly conservative tests that control for the aspirations that comprise the profiles. The profiles also differed in the breadth of their care for others. From Profile 1 to Profile 3, increasingly more (and more distal) others are central in the configurations of aspiring, starting with the self (Profile 1), then close others (Profile 2), and then the world in general (Profile 3). These studies make a unique contribution to the literature by synthesizing the available evidence and by identifying replicable latent profiles of aspiring that account for variance in well-being and other-oriented-ness over and above the constituent variables.
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The post-2008 financial crisis era has seen an upsurge in popular cultural narratives that implicitly challenge principles of economic productivity, consumption and growth by lamenting a so-called ‘world of too much,’ advocating ethics of minimalism, and renouncing everyday busyness. Narratives range from lifestyle advice on simplicity and de-cluttering private homes, to quests for the reduction of individual labor, communication, social contacts and distraction. This article questions these narratives in terms of eco-politics. Using Kate Soper’s concept of ‘alternative hedonism,’ the article analyzes a selection of five self-help books and one blog that promote lifestyle minimalism in order to interrogate their potential in stimulating de-growth eco-politics through popular culture. Drawing on post-ecological theory, it argues that narratives of lifestyle minimalism are paradoxical in that they resist yet at the same time promote capitalist cultures of growth. To overcome this limitation, it is crucial to understand and transform the narrative premises of lifestyle minimalism in ways that contextualize problems of ‘excess,’ ‘clutter’ and ‘a world of too much’ as intrinsic to the current system of capital accumulation. The article concludes by reflecting on the potential of an eco-movement that joins the alternative culture of minimalist hedonism with the eco-political agenda of de-growth.
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine consumers’ motives in signing up for a week-long voluntary simplicity experiment, No Impact Week (NIW), and reducing their consumption during and afterwards. Design/methodology/approach The empirical data come from informants who filled out a pre-week email inquiry, completed a daily diary template centred on eight themes, responded to a post-week email inquiry and answered follow-up questions one month after completion. Findings Those who participate in NIW were motivated by personal factors, such as curiosity and desire to be more aware, to learn tips for eco-living applicable to daily life and to challenge themselves. People who chose not to participate did so largely because they did not understand what would be required of them. Participants incorporated the experiment into their lives, but the outcomes remained dependent on existing structures, in this case environmental and personal factors. The findings indicate the existence of a value–action gap and an awareness–behaviour gap. Research limitations/implications While a mismatch between consumers’ consumption values and behaviour is not uncommon, enabling behaviour in line with values is crucial for reducing consumption. Although voluntary simplicity is a drastic form of consumption reduction that appeals only to a small but growing niche of people, the motives for and consequences of engaging in it highlight pressing issues of consumer behaviour and consumption. Originality/value The study is unique in that it links voluntary simplicity to a social marketing campaign that should appeal to those with a favourable attitude towards taking action and reducing their consumption.
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In this paper, we focus on consumption practices reflected on blogs of Polish minimalists. We analyzed 16 top blogs of the minimalists present in the Polish blogosphere. The objective of the minimalists is to consume less and live simple life without the excess of material objects. We studied the instructions of everyday conduct which the minimalists give on their blogs, as well as the meanings they assign to their practices: their personal stories of becoming a minimalist and statements of their values. The authors belong to one generation-their childhood took place in the times of the shortage economy in the 1980s. This influenced the whole trajectory of their lives and their consumer choices. To interpret their practices we use the categories of rationalization of Max Weber and modern hedonism of Colin Campbell. It appears that minimalists strive for reaching certain emotional states, e.g. peace and well-being they imagine, in line with the theory of modern hedonism. A path to those emotional states consists of rationalization of all the temporary, impulse-based pleasures and control over emotions involved in consumption.
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Although there has been considerable theoretical support outlining a positive relationship between religiosity and voluntary simplicity, there is limited empirical evidence validating this relationship. This study examines the relationships among religious orientations (Allport and Ross in J Pers Soc Psychol 5(4):432–443, 1967) and voluntary simplicity in a sample of Australian consumers. The results demonstrate that intrinsic religiosity is positively related to voluntary simplicity; however, there is no relationship between extrinsic religiosity and voluntary simplicity. Furthermore, this research investigates the processes through which intrinsic religiosity affects voluntary simplicity. The relationship between intrinsic religiosity and voluntary simplicity is sequentially mediated by communal/personal well-being and environmental well-being. The findings not only identify a prosocial role of intrinsic religiosity in motivating voluntary simplicity, but also indicate that secular pursuits that enhance communal/personal well-being and environmental well-being may also motivate voluntary simplicity.
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Planning Review initiates with this article on voluntary simplicity a series prepared by Stanford Research Institute's research staff. The articles will address emerging trends in economics, technology, and society that need to be considered by practicing planners. The new series will be coordinated by Riggs Monfort, Director of Program Development for SRI's Business Intelligence Program, and a Contributing Editor for Planning Review.
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The practice of voluntary simplicity is inextricably linked to consumer behavior and has attracted the attention of researchers in a number of disciplines, including psychology and marketing. Yet the daily practice of voluntary simplicity in the United States remains largely unexamined. The research presented here is the first to look at voluntary simplicity with the use of a nationwide sample of American consumers. A more refined application of Maslow's theory of human motivation to the understanding of this social phenomenon is proposed. The practices considered most important to this lifestyle are identified, as are key impediments to its consistent practice. Factor analysis is used to identify the underlying dimensions of U.S. voluntary simplicity: ecological and social responsibility; community; and maintaining a spiritual life. Findings indicate that people of moderate income are more likely to practice voluntary simplicity than was previously believed. This research also compares highly committed simplifiers to those who are less committed, finding that more committed practitioners are more likely to be consistent in practices requiring ongoing effort, such as composting. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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The increased levels of consumption that have accompanied our consumer-oriented culture have also given rise to some consumers questioning their individual consumption choices, with many opting for greater consumption simplicity. This link between consideration of actual consumption levels and consumer choices is evident among a group of consumers known as ethical consumers. Ethical consumers consider a range of ethical issues in their consumer behavioral choices. Particularly prevalent is voluntary simplification due to concerns for the extent and nature of consumption. Through the presentation of findings from two qualitative studies exploring known ethical consumers, the relationship of consumer attitudes to consumption levels, and how these attitudes impact approaches to consumer behavior, are discussed. © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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The statistical tests used in the analysis of structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error are examined. A drawback of the commonly applied chi square test, in addition to the known problems related to sample size and power, is that it may indicate an increasing correspondence between the hypothesized model and the observed data as both the measurement properties and the relationship between constructs decline. Further, and contrary to common assertion, the risk of making a Type II error can be substantial even when the sample size is large. Moreover, the present testing methods are unable to assess a model's explanatory power. To overcome these problems, the authors develop and apply a testing system based on measures of shared variance within the structural model, measurement model, and overall model.
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This article explores the strengths approach in therapeutic recreation practice, as articulated through the Flourishing through Leisure Model: An Ecological Extension of the Leisure and Well-Being Model (Anderson & Heyne, 2012a, 2012b), and examines the Upward Spiral Theory of Lifestyle Change (Fredrickson, 2015) as an explanatory framework for why and how leisure can drive sustained positive lifestyle change. Overviews are provided of the strengths approach and the Flourishing through Leisure Model, emphasizing the central role leisure plays in strengths-based therapeutic recreation practice. The broaden-and-build theory (Fredrickson, 2013b) is explained as it is the basis for the Upward Spiral Theory of Lifestyle Change. The Upward Spiral theory is described in detail in the contexts of the neuroscience of enjoyment, passion (obsessive and harmonious), and prioritizing positivity. Practical applications of the Upward Spiral Theory of Lifestyle Change to strengths-based therapeutic recreation practice are drawn, as well as recommendations for future research.
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Environmental deterioration caused by consumers' non-sustainable consumption pattern is putting a strain on the environment and is hindering sustainable development. In order to impede this effect and promote a more sustainable economy, one solution is to reduce or shift consumption from conventional products to green products. The unfortunate reality indicates that inadequate information on how to promote consumers' green behavioral intention is slowing the growth of green markets; such inadequacy appears as a prevailing obstacle facing firms while developing segments and communicating strategies for effectively promoting green products. The mentioned impact is more prevailing and most experienced in countries like Malaysia. Hence, consumers' behavioral intentions must be better understood in order to strengthen knowledge about fostering green purchases. This study aims to determine the motivational factors that influence green purchasing intention and simultaneously assess the moderator roles of the premium price and demographic characteristics – given that consumers' degree of greenness varies. A survey was administered and a total of 405 usable questionnaires were obtained. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was applied to test the hypotheses. Results indicate that environmental attitude, eco-label and cultural value (man–nature orientation) significantly influence the green purchase intention. The result also indicates that the premium price has no moderating effect, denying its role as one of the main barriers for consumers to walk their talk as it has previously been reported by studies and opinion polls. In addition, the findings revealed that education level and gender have a significant positive moderation effect. This suggests that green purchase intentions' motivational factors are greater among highly educated individuals especially with female consumers in particular. This study contributes to the understanding of the main factors that motivate consumers' intention to purchase green products in Malaysia. It also offers insights and discusses implementations for manufacturers, marketers and policy makers concerned with the drivers that motivate consumers' green purchasing intentions which require different marketing plan and strategy than conventional products.
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This article introduces the concept of sustainability-rooted anticonsumption (SRAC), which refers to consumers' anticonsumption practices of voluntary simplicity in living and, on a smaller level, collaborative consumption and boycotting with the goal of supporting sustainable economic development. The SRAC measurement approach is validated based on three empirical studies. Results of a representative German sample (Study 2) reveal that SRAC is predominantly negatively linked to consumer overconsumption dispositions. Exemplary, voluntary simplification and boycott intention may result in declining levels of indebtedness. Study 3 shows that psychosocial well-being is positively related to SRAC and overconsumption. However, a simplified lifestyle and a greater willingness to boycott are not necessarily associated with psychosocial well-being. This article provides insights for practitioners and policymakers to leverage existing SRAC values via “new” business models (sharing offers) or to influence the existing level of consciousness to effectively pave the way for solid progress in the sustainability movement.
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This paper describes the relation between values and behavior of a new life style, that of voluntary simplicity which is characterized by low consumption, self-sufficiency, and ecological responsibility. Also, specific hypotheses regarding the motivation for voluntary simplicity and adoption in two areas of the United States were tested. Analysis shows values of voluntary simplicity and behaviors are consistent, the motivation for voluntary simplicity includes personal preference and economic hardship, and adoption of voluntary simplicity is different in the Denver and New York City metropolitan areas.
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The idea that the over-arching goal of capitalist economies needs to be changed, and that achieving ever-higher levels of consumption of products and services is a vacuous goal, has followed a familiar tri-stage evolution—several times over. Radical rejections of the consumeristic goal have been followed by rejections of the rejections and new bouts of consumerism, leading to some kind of combination of an affirmation of the merits of a high level of consumption with a rededication to other purposes. This idea itself has been with us from the onset of industrialization. It often has taken the form of comparing the attractive life of the poorer pre-industrial artisan to that of the drudgeries of the more endowed industrial assembly-line worker.
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Consumers are taking active steps to rebel against the marketplace, yet, marketers are not acknowledging this rebellion as a powerful social movement. This paper provides data from a two year study of people who chose to define themselves in opposition to the dominant consumer culture, which they felt promoted waste and environmental degradation. Instead, the participants of this study created new selves that reflected their determination not to be labeled consumers and crafted new relationships in opposition to the marketplace that reflected their skepticism with marketing practices.
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Data from a questionnaire were collected from 189 Japanese female undergraduates at a women's university. They were 18, 19, or 20 years of age. The measures included a 22-item 7-point voluntary simplicity lifestyle scale, a 9-item 5-point scale of the evaluation of a voluntarily simple life, an 11-item 4-point scale of environmentally responsible consumerism and a 28-item 5-point scale of a nonsimplicity lifestyle. Factor analysis was conducted for each scale and Cronbach's αcoefficients were calculated for selected items associated with each scale. Both the evaluation of a voluntarily simple life and environmentally responsible consumerism were positively associated with a voluntary simplicity lifestyle and its three factors, that is, cautious attitudes in shopping, acceptance of self-sufficiency and a desire for a voluntarily simple life. A voluntary simplicity lifestyle was significantly associated with more than half of the nonsimplicity lifestyle statements.
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A study was conducted to investigate correlations between voluntary simplicity lifestyles (VSLs.) and perceptual or behavioral characteristics regarding VSLs.. Questionnaires each of which contained a 20-item 5-point scale of VSLs., a 13-item 4-point scale of the frequency of proenvironmental behaviors, and 23 5-point scales of various perceptual or behavioral characteristics regarding VSLs were administered to 250 female adults. The scale of VSLs yielded four variables. Product-moment correlation coefficients were calculated 1) between these four variables and variables of the frequency of proenvironmental behaviors and 2) between the four variables and perceptual or behavioral characteristics associated with VSLs. Many correlations were significant, and were in assumed directions.
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Questionnaires containing 20 statements of voluntary simplicity lifestyles and 23 statements of selected attitudes and behavior related to these lifestyles were administered to 135 undergraduates. The subjects were required to rate the degree of agreement or disagreement with the statement on 5-point scales. Three unrotated factors were obtained by factor analysis. According to second-order factor analysis, voluntary simplicity lifestyles, cautious attitudes in shopping and acceptance of self-sufficiency had significant loadings on the first factor. Significant correlations between these dimensions and the selected attitudes and behavior substantially supported the validity of the scale of voluntary simplicity lifestyles.
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Extant consumer research literature focuses on the subtleties, multiplicity of meanings, and values consumers attach to acquisition of personal possessions. Researchers have devoted less attention to consumers' disposition behaviors, including factors that influence disposition decisions. This paper explores voluntary disposition using data gathered through participant observations and in-depth interviews with a range of consumers, including those involved in clothing exchange (CE) events. The findings provide support for the a priori themes of values and consumption patterns, extending the life of self and goods, and consumers' self-concept. Additionally, the findings yield emergent themes of role transitions, role models and family patterns, and shared community. Utilizing our findings, and extant literature, we propose a conceptual Framework of Voluntary Disposition that can be utilized to analyze further meanings of consumer disposition patterns in different contexts. Copyright
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This article examines and extends the notion of voluntary simplifiers (VS). VS are individuals who have freely chosen a frugal, anticonsumer lifestyle that features low resource use and environmental impact. The article will begin by reviewing empirical work with VS and their mainstream counterparts, non-voluntary simplifiers (NVS). It will go on to identify and locate within this literature an intermediate group: beginner voluntary simplifiers (BVS). BVS may support some aspects of sustainability (such as buying fair-trade coffee or recycling domestic waste) without either embracing a complete lifestyle change like VS, or completely dismissing ethical or environ-mental features of products and services they consume, like NVS. Insight into the complex decision-making processes of BVS is crucial for the understanding of the concept of voluntary simplification and is therefore important for the advancement of sustainable consumption. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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Voluntary simplicity is often considered to be a sustainable lifestyle phenomenon buttressed by environment-friendly consumption practices. Voluntary simplicity is shaped by the individual as well as the society, and marketplace interactions often impact voluntarily simplified approaches to consumption. Pertinent, therefore, is a consideration of how voluntary simplifiers negotiate the tensions between marketplace interactions and decisions (not) to consume, as the exploration of interactions between consumption and non-consumption choices has relevant implications for the advancement of sustainable consumption. Specifically, we seek to answer the following question: how have voluntary simplifiers in a rural context negotiated the relationship between voluntary simplicity and market-based (non-) consumption? This paper reports on a study of 28 rural voluntary simplifiers to explore the intersections between voluntary simplicity and rural markets. Findings highlight the convoluted nature and the multiple manifestations of voluntary simplicity, while the rural context allows an exploration of such tensions in relation to individual voluntary simplicity, local economy, supermarkets, fair trade and consumer culture.
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Most of the literature on the voluntary simplicity (VS) lifestyle has come from the popular press and environmental activists, who tend to take a rather philosophical and moralistic stance. Although several academics have discussed the concept, it has had little mention in the marketing literature. Recently, a detailed commentary has considered the VS lifestyle from a social-science perspective. Although this lifestyle type has been gaining attention, the literature reveals there is no clear understanding of this way of life. Different authors have different opinions about what should be at the essence of what constitutes VS lifestyle behavior. Our research seeks to address this problem by gaining a fuller understanding of voluntary simplifiers in relation to nonvoluntary simplifiers. Thus, this article reports on a study of 53 one-hour interviews that contrasts and compares these two groups. From the findings, it was revealed that there are indeed certain differences across groups that could be of particular interest to marketers and academics. © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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Voluntary simplicity is a lifestyle choice that has received increasing media attention over time. A defining characteristic of voluntary simplicity is reduced material consumption and the removal of clutter from one's life, thus suggesting the topic of disposition may inform our understanding of voluntary simplifier lifestyle behaviour. This paper explores the disposition activities of voluntary simplifiers in the context of their overall consumption behaviour using a series of in-depth interviews with 12 current voluntary simplifiers. The findings show that disposition plays an important role in voluntary simplifier behaviour, especially during the initial stages of adopting the lifestyle. The consideration of future disposition activities was also found to influence the day-to-day consumption behaviour of participants. Copyright
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This paper broadens current knowledge on consumer waste and disposal behaviour by exploring the diverse and complementary waste-reduction strategies and behaviours adopted by environmentally conscious consumer communities in the UK. Using a critical ethnography methodology and a multi-locale approach to designing the field, six distinct ethical voluntary simplifier communities were studied. Findings suggest their alternative lifestyles and waste management choices offer society much in terms of environmental soundness, while also presenting several personal trade-offs for community members that deserve critical consideration. Practical implications for marketers and policy makers are addressed. Copyright
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The psychometric properties of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS) were evaluated in a normal sample of N = 717 who were also administered the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). The DASS was shown to possess satisfactory psychometric properties, and the factor structure was substantiated both by exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. In comparison to the BDI and BAI, the DASS scales showed greater separation in factor loadings. The DASS Anxiety scale correlated 0.81 with the BAI, and the DASS Depression scale correlated 0.74 with the BDI. Factor analyses suggested that the BDI differs from the DASS Depression scale primarily in that the BDI includes items such as weight loss, insomnia, somatic preoccupation and irritability, which fail to discriminate between depression and other affective states. The factor structure of the combined BDI and BAI items was virtually identical to that reported by Beck for a sample of diagnosed depressed and anxious patients, supporting the view that these clinical states are more severe expressions of the same states that may be discerned in normals. Implications of the results for the conceptualisation of depression, anxiety and tension/stress are considered, and the utility of the DASS scales in discriminating between these constructs is discussed.
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