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Do experiences make people happier than material possessions? In two surveys, respondents from various demographic groups indicated that experiential purchases-those made with the primary intention of acquiring a life experience--made them happier than material purchases. In a follow-up laboratory experiment, participants experienced more positive feelings after pondering an experiential purchase than after pondering a material purchase. In another experiment, participants were more likely to anticipate that experiences would make them happier than material possessions after adopting a temporally distant, versus a temporally proximate, perspective. The discussion focuses on evidence that experiences make people happier because they are more open to positive reinterpretations, are a more meaningful part of one's identity, and contribute more to successful social relationships.
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To Do or to Have? That Is the Question
Leaf Van Boven
University of Colorado at Boulder
Thomas Gilovich
Cornell University
Do experiences make people happier than material possessions? In two surveys, respondents from
various demographic groups indicated that experiential purchases—those made with the primary inten-
tion of acquiring a life experience—made them happier than material purchases. In a follow-up
laboratory experiment, participants experienced more positive feelings after pondering an experiential
purchase than after pondering a material purchase. In another experiment, participants were more likely
to anticipate that experiences would make them happier than material possessions after adopting a
temporally distant, versus a temporally proximate, perspective. The discussion focuses on evidence that
experiences make people happier because they are more open to positive reinterpretations, are a more
meaningful part of one’s identity, and contribute more to successful social relationships.
We live in a world of unprecedented abundance. Although few
of us can live up to the advertising slogan that invites us to “have
it all,” a growing swath of the population in developed countries
has more discretionary income than ever before. We devote a
considerable portion of our resources to the pursuit of “the good
life”—one of contentment, pleasure, and happiness. For many of
us, deciding how to invest our resources to maximize happiness is
a challenge: We wonder whether we are as happy as we might be,
given the resources at our disposal. We wonder whether more
money, more leisure, or more stuff would make us happier. These
queries may not apply to everyone, of course; individuals with
severely limited resources may (rightfully) worry more about
satisfying basic needs such as food, shelter, and clothing (Maslow,
1943). But for the fortunate majority in developed countries who
enjoy a substantial measure of discretionary income, one can ask
whether there is a simple, empirically grounded strategy to guide
the allocation of resources in the pursuit of happiness.
The thesis examined in this article is that happiness is advanced
more by allocating discretionary income toward the acquisition of
life experiences than toward the acquisition of material posses-
sions. “The good life,” in other words, may be better lived by
doing things than by having things.
Our research follows a humanistic tradition critical of material
pursuits. Aristotle observed that “men fancy that external goods
are the cause of happiness” but claimed that “leisure of itself gives
pleasure and happiness and enjoyment in life” (trans. 1996, pp. 185
and 197). Some time later, the bible has Jesus admonishing, “one’s
life does not consist in the abundance of possessions” (Luke 12:15,
New King James Version). More recently, Fromm (1976) criti-
cized industrialized societies for neglecting “being” in favor of
“having”—an emphasis he believed inhibits self-actualization. Sci-
tovsky (1976) similarly suggested that people in industrialized
societies, particularly the United States, have created a “joyless
economy” by pursuing “comforts” (which eliminate pains but
produce little or no enjoyment) to the detriment of short-lived
“pleasures.” Summarizing evidence across the social sciences,
Frank (1999) observed that across-the-board “increases in our
stocks of material goods produce virtually no measurable gains in
our psychological or physical well-being. Bigger houses and faster
cars, it seems, don’t make us any happier” (p. 6).
Consistent with these ideas, prior research demonstrates that
materialistic people tend to report lower subjective well-being than
nonmaterialistic people. People who strongly agree with such
statements as “Some of the most important achievements in life
include acquiring material possessions” and “Buying things gives
me a lot of pleasure” report lower levels of satisfaction with life
than people who disagree with such statements (Belk, 1985; Rich-
ins & Dawson, 1992). More generally, people who endorse such
extrinsic aspirations as “You will buy things just because you want
them” report lower levels of well-being (Kasser & Ryan, 1993,
1996). According to self-determination theory, focusing on exter-
nal rewards fails to satisfy needs for autonomy, competence, and
relatedness, thereby hindering self-actualization and personal in-
tegration (Deci & Ryan, 1985; Kasser, 2002; Ryan & Deci, 2000).
Our investigation expands these findings by examining whether
investing in experiences generally makes people happier than
investing in possessions.
Experiential Versus Material Investments
A central challenge of our research is to delineate a distinction
between experiences and possessions that is both theoretically
meaningful and intuitively resonant in everyday life. An intuitive,
Leaf Van Boven, Department of Psychology, University of Colorado at
Boulder; Thomas Gilovich, Department of Psychology, Cornell University.
This research was supported by National Science Foundation Grant
9809262 and by a grant from the Positive Psychology Young Scholars
program. We thank Robert Frank and George Loewenstein for comments
on an earlier version of this article. We thank Alex Heath, Mina Myong,
Erika Norman, and Adam Rokshar for their help collecting data. We give
special thanks to Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance and Harris Interac-
tive for conducting the National Survey.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Leaf Van
Boven, University of Colorado at Boulder, Department of Psychology,
UCB 345, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0345. E-mail: vanboven@colorado
.edu or
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Copyright 2003 by the American Psychological Association, Inc.
2003, Vol. 85, No. 6, 1193–1202 0022-3514/03/$12.00 DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.85.6.1193
easily recognized distinction would advance the practical aim of
helping individuals decide how to allocate their discretionary
resources. The difficulty, of course, is that the distinction is not
always clear-cut. Nearly everyone would deem a hike in the
Himalayas to be an experience and a new Patek-Phillipe watch to
be a possession. But what about a flat-screen TV or an automobile?
Are they possessions or vehicles for experiences?
Although such ambiguities create some interpretive difficulties,
they do not render the distinction meaningless. At dusk, it can be
difficult to discern whether it is really day or night, but that does
not undermine the utility of the general distinction between night
and day. One way to meet this interpretive challenge is to rely on
peoples intentions when investing in their happiness. Thus, expe-
riential purchases are those made with the primary intention of
acquiring a life experience: an event or series of events that one
lives through. Material purchases are those made with the primary
intention of acquiring a material good: a tangible object that is kept
in ones possession.
In drawing this intention-based distinction, we were inspired by
two related dichotomies. First, consumer behavior researchers
have recently distinguished between hedonic goods, those acquired
with the primary intention of fostering enjoyment, and utilitarian
goods, those acquired with the primary intention of achieving
practical aims (Dhar & Wertenbroch, 2000; Kivetz & Strahilovitz,
2000). A second distinction is the one mentioned earlier between
extrinsic goals, which depend on the contingent reactions of
others,and intrinsic goals, which express desires congruent with
actualizing and growth tendencies natural to humans (Kasser &
Ryan, 1996, p. 280). Like ours, these distinctions are imprecise. Is
installing a professional gas stove in ones kitchen hedonic or
utilitarian? Does exercising reflect an intrinsic goal to be healthy,
or an extrinsic goal to be physically attractive to others? Despite
these ambiguities, the distinctions between hedonic and utilitarian
purchases and between intrinsic and extrinsic goals have proved
useful to researchers. And, as we shall demonstrate, the categorical
distinction between experiential and material purchases, imprecise
and imperfect though it may be, is readily recognized and widely
The Present Studies
We examined whether investing discretionary income in life
experiences makes people happier than investing in material pos-
sessions. In an initial survey, we asked people to think of experi-
ences and material possessions they purchased during the past
month (Study 1), and to indicate how happy those investments
made them. In a larger national survey, we investigated whether
people from different demographic groups would report that life
experiences made them happier (Study 2). Bringing our investiga-
tion into the lab, we examined the impact of thinking about
experiential versus material purchases on peoples current moods
(Study 3). Finally, we examined whether experiences might make
people happier than possessions partly because experiences are
evaluated more favorably over time. Specifically, we examined
whether people who adopted a temporally distant perspective
expressed a stronger preference for experiences than people who
adopted a temporally proximate perspective (Study 4).
Study 1: Recent Purchases
How can we examine whether experiences make people happier
than material possessions? The simplest approach is to ask them.
Accordingly, we asked respondents to describe either the most
recent experiential purchase or the most recent material purchase
they had made for more than $100, and to rate how happy the
purchase made them. We anticipated that respondents would report
that experiential purchases made them happier than material
We also asked respondents to evaluate the wisdom of their
purchase from an economic standpoint. If people believe that their
experiences make them happier than their material possessions, do
they also deem their experiences to be better financial investments
than their possessions? Material possessions, after all, are physi-
cally retained over time whereas experiences are not. The contin-
ued enjoyment of experiences is only indirecta pleasant mem-
ory, a favorable self-perception, or an enjoyable story to tell.
People might therefore judge material possessions to be better
financial investments, even if they do not make them happier. We
examined this possibility by asking respondents to rate the extent
to which the money spent on their purchase was money well-
spentand whether they thought the money could have been better
spent on something else.
We also investigated whether people recognize and make con-
sistent distinctions between experiential and material purchases by
asking some respondents (outsiders) to evaluate other peoples
purchases. Our definition of experiential and material purchases
rests on peoples ideographic intentions regarding their invest-
ment. The same purchase (a car) can have different meanings for
some people (I need better handling on mountain turns) than for
others (I want to add to my collection). Because people have
little or no access to the intentions surrounding a strangers pur-
chase, they must infer the intentions from the purchase itself. We
were therefore interested in whether outsiders would categorize
purchases the same as the respondents themselves.
Main survey. Ninety-seven University of British Columbia (UBC)
undergraduates completed a survey in exchange for a chocolate bar. The
survey concerned a purchase you have made with the intention of ad-
vancing your happiness and enjoyment in life. Respondents randomly
assigned to the experiential purchase condition were asked to think of the
most recent experiential purchase they made for more than $100 and that
involved spending money with the primary intention of acquiring a life
experiencean event or series of events that you personally encounter or
live through. Respondents in the material purchase condition were asked
to think of their most recent material purchase of more than $100 that
involved spending money with the primary intention of acquiring a
material possessiona tangible object that you obtain and keep in your
Respondents then indicated how happy their purchase made them. They
were asked, When you think about this purchase, how happy does it make
you? which they answered on a scale ranging from 1 (not happy)to5
(moderately happy)to9(extremely happy). They were also asked, How
much does this purchase contribute to your happiness in life? which they
answered on a scale ranging from 1 (not at all)to5(moderately)to9(very
much). Respondents also answered two questions about the financial wis-
dom of their purchase: To what extent would you say this purchase is
money well-spent? which they answered on a scale ranging from 1 (not
well-spent)to5(moderately well-spent)to9(very well-spent); and, To
what extent do you think the money spent on this purchase would have
been better spent on something elsesome other type of purchase that
would have made you happier? which they answered on a scale ranging
from 1 (not at all)to5(moderately)to9(very much).
Outsiders. Several weeks after completion of the main survey, 42 UBC
undergraduates received a candy bar in exchange for reading short sum-
maries of between 15 and 20 randomly selected purchase descriptions from
the main survey, approximately half of which were experiential purchases.
The outsiders read the same definition of experiential and material pur-
chases given to the survey respondents, but were not told whether the
purchases were originally listed as experiential or material. Outsiders rated
the extent to which each purchase was experiential or material on a scale
ranging from 1 (purely material)to5(equally experiential and material)
to9(purely experiential). They also rated how happy each purchase would
make them on a scale ranging from 1 (not at all happy)to9(extremely
Results and Discussion
As anticipated, respondents asked to evaluate an experiential
purchase indicated that it made them happier than did those asked
to evaluate a material purchase (see Table 1).
Respondents also
indicated that experiential purchases were better financial invest-
ments than material purchases. Participants indicated that, com-
pared with material purchases, experiential purchases made them
happier, t(95) 2.91, p .005, contributed more to their happi-
ness in life, t(95) 2.44, p .017, and represented money better
spent, t(95) 2.26, p .026. Respondents were also less inclined
to say that the money spent on experiences could have been better
spent elsewhere than the money spent on material possessions,
t(95) 1.94, p .056.
Respondents purchase descriptions suggest that the distinction
between experiential and material purchases resonates with people
in everyday life (see Table 2). There is very little overlap between
the two types of purchase descriptions: The most frequently de-
scribed category of experiential purchases (fees and admissions)
was described by only 1 respondent as a material purchase; the
most frequently described category of material purchases (clothing
and jewelry) was described by only 1 respondent as an experiential
Outsiders evaluating other peoples purchasesfor which out-
siders must guess the purchasers intentionsalso recognized this
distinction. The parenthetical numbers in Table 2 present outsid-
ersaverage ratings of purchase descriptions within each purchase
category. Outsiders rated the experiential purchases as more ex-
periential (M 7.34) than the material purchases (M 3.23),
t(41) 15.29, p .001. Furthermore, outsiders predicted that
purchases originally described as experiential would make them
happier (M 6.78) than purchases originally described as material
(M 4.25), t(41) 9.41, p .001.
These findings bolster the claim that the distinction between
experiential and material purchases is widely shared and readily
recognized in everyday life. That this distinction was easily made
by outsiderspeople who did not themselves acquire the pur-
chasessuggests that the experiential and material properties are
somewhat inherent to the purchases themselves, not only to peo-
ples idiographic intentions regarding the purchase. The distinction
between experiential and material purchases is thus both concep-
tually meaningful and intuitively compelling to people in everyday
The between-respondents design of this study casts doubt on the
possibility that our results are an artifact of social desirability
concerns. To be sure, people may often be more comfortable
saying that they are made happier by their experiences than by
their material possessions. Indeed, as we describe later, one reason
why experiences tend to make people happier is the negative
stereotype associated with being materialistica stereotype that
could make people reluctant to trumpet the hedonic value of their
possessions. However, because respondents in this survey were
never asked to compare experiential and material possessions
directly, social desirability concerns were less likely to have in-
fluenced their responses. We present additional evidence against
the social desirability interpretation in Study 3.
Study 2: National Survey
How widespread is this tendency of experiences to provide
greater hedonic value than material possessions? Is it true for men
and women? Young and old? Black and White? Rich and poor?
The relatively small sample of respondents in Study 1 and the
reliance on university students do not allow a full examination of
these questions. We therefore explored in a national survey
whether people from various demographic groups would endorse
the hedonic superiority of experiential purchases over possessions.
A nationwide cross-section of 1,279 Americans, aged 2169, was sur-
veyed between November and December 2000 by Harris Interactive on
behalf of Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. The survey was con-
ducted over the telephone, with respondents solicited through random-digit
dialing. Respondents were those who identified themselves as the primary
financial decision makers in their households. Most of the approximately
180-item survey concerned respondents attitudes and behaviors with re-
spect to financial planning, such as How much money would you need to
feel secure about your financial future? Toward the end of the survey,
respondents were asked to think of an experiential and a material purchase
they had made during their lifetime with the aim of increasing your
There was no reliable difference in the cost of material and experiential
purchases (medians $150 and $190, respectively). There was a margin-
ally reliable tendency for material purchases to be purchased more recently
(M 2.54 months ago) than experiential purchases (M 4.70 months
ago), t(95) 1.85, p .07. Statistically controlling for this difference did
not alter any of the results.
Table 1
Study 1: Recent Purchases. Respondents’ Evaluations of
Experiential and Material Purchases Made During the
Preceding Month, and “Outsiders’” Ratings of How Happy
Other People’s Purchases Would Make Them
Type of purchase
Experiential Material
Main survey
How happy does thinking about it make you? 7.51 6.62
Contributed to your overall happiness in life? 6.40 5.42
Money well spent? 7.30 6.42
Better spent on something else? 3.77 4.52
Outsiders evaluation
Anticipated happiness 6.78 4.25
happiness. Respondents were then asked, When you think about these
two purchases, which makes you happier? They answered by selecting
my experiential purchase,”“my material purchase,”“not sure, or de-
cline to answer.
Results and Discussion
Respondents who declined to answer whether their experiential
or material purchase made them happier (1%) were excluded from
all analyses (resulting N 1,263).
As expected, respondents were substantially more likely to
report that their experiential purchases made them happier than
their material purchases (57%, 95% confidence interval 54%
60%) than they were to report that their material purchases made
them happier than their experiential purchases (34%, 95% confi-
dence interval 31%37%).
Our primary interest, however, was the relationship between
respondents demographic profiles and their endorsement of ex-
periential over material purchases. As illustrated in Table 3, across
a variety of demographic categories, respondents were more likely
to report that their experiential purchases made them happier than
they were to report the reverse. That is not to say that there were
no demographic differences: Women, younger individuals, and
those living in urban or suburban communities were a bit more
likely to indicate that experiences made them happier than were
men, elderly people, and those living in rural communities. How-
ever, even in those categories less likely to favor experiences over
possessions, a greater proportion of respondents indicated that
their experiences made them happier than the reverse. Reporting
that experiences make one happier than possessions is thus the rule
not the exception.
A further demographic difference is noteworthy. Respondents
level of income (see Figure 1) was positively associated with their
endorsement of experiential over material possessionsso much
so that respondents with the lowest levels of income were equally
likely to indicate that material or experiential purchases made them
happier. A similar pattern emerged for education, which is highly
correlated with income (cf. Witter, Okun, Stock, & Haring, 1984).
In fact, people with the lowest levels of education (some high
school or less) were slightly more likely to indicate that material
possessions made them happier, whereas respondents with at least
a high school degree were more likely to indicate that experiences
made them happier. These patterns are perhaps not surprising.
Individuals with little or no discretionary income (typically those
with the least education) must allocate most of their resources
toward the satisfaction of basic needs, and may have fewer oppor-
tunities to worry about the relative benefits of experiences and
possessions in the pursuit of happiness.
Although one can speculate about potential causes underlying
the demographic differences in endorsement of experiential over
material purchases, such speculation should be viewed with cau-
tion. Because respondents did not provide us with purchase de-
scriptions in this survey, we cannot discern whether the differential
endorsement of experiences over material possessions stems from
evaluations of different types of purchases or from different eval-
uations of similar purchases. It is quite likely that younger, wealth-
ier, more educated individuals purchase different types of experi-
ences than older, less educated, and less wealthy individuals. It is
also possible that these different groups purchase similar kinds of
experiences and possessions, but evaluate them differently. We
suspect that wealthier, more educated people may have been
acculturated and educated in a system that emphasizes self-
actualization, which might help them reap greater psychological
benefits from experiences. Establishing causal clarity and unpack-
ing these demographic differences is an important issue for further
Study 3: Mood Experiment
Respondents in the previous surveys reported that their experi-
ential purchases made them happier than their material purchases.
Our interpretation of these results assumes, as do many subjective
well-being researchers, that people can accurately report their own
happiness (Larsen, Diener, & Emmons, 1985; Lyubomirsky &
Lepper, 1999). This assumption is substantiated by findings indi-
cating that self-reported measures of happiness are internally con-
sistent, stable, and converge with informant and spouse reports
(Costa & McCrae, 1980; Lyubomirsky & Lepper, 1999). But
critics of this assumption note that transient, contextual factors can
influence measures of subjective well-being (e.g., Schwarz &
Strack, 1999). And even if people can report their own subjective
well-being, they may not be able to accurately report the causes of
their well-being. Partly because of these concerns, some research-
Table 2
Study 1: Recent Purchases. Percentage of Experiential and Material Purchases in Each of 10
Purchase category
Type of purchase
Experiential Material
Beauty spas and products 4% (2.57) 2% (4.10)
Books and compact discs 2% (4.22)
Clothing and jewelry 2% (3.57) 62% (2.86)
Dining 17% (7.60)
Fees and admissions (to concerts, ski slopes, etc.) 43% (7.49) 2% (6.00)
Televisions, stereo, and computer equipment 26% (3.47)
Travel 32% (7.51)
Other 2% (4.77) 6% (4.92)
Note. A dash indicates there was no purchase description in that category. Numbers in parentheses are
outsiders’” ratings of the extent to which the purchase was experiential versus material on a scale ranging from
1(purely material)to5(equally material and experiential)to9(purely experiential).
ers advocate the abandonment of global assessments of well-being
in favor of moment-to-moment reports of feelings (e.g., Kahne-
man, 1999; Stone, Shiffman, & DeVries, 1999).
We designed an experiment with this critique in mind. We asked
participants to describe either an experiential or material purchase.
One week later, we asked them to read their description and ponder
their purchase. At both times, we measured participants current
feelings. If, as we hypothesize, thinking about experiential pur-
chases makes people happier than thinking about material pur-
chases, pondering an experience should have a more positive effect
on participantscurrent feelings than pondering a material posses-
sion. This design thus avoids any limitations inherent in retrospec-
tive, more global evaluations of happiness. It also permits a closer
examination of the possibility that our earlier results are an artifact
of social desirability concerns. A report of ones mood is simply
thata report of how one feels at the moment for whatever reason.
It is not a report of how one feels because of one type of purchase
or another, and hence there is no need for participants to disguise
their true responses because one type of purchase may be more
socially desirable than another.
Seventy Cornell University undergraduates were offered course credit to
participate in two sessions, approximately 1 week apart.
Upon arrival at
the first session, participants completed a Background Questionnaire that
the experimenter described as a tool that would assess factors that may or
may not affect behavior in experiments. The questionnaire contained two
measures of participantscurrent mood. Participants first rated their current
mood on two bipolar scales, one ranging from 4(bad)to4(good), and
another ranging from 4(sad)to4(happy; cf. Forgas, 1999). Partici-
pants then completed a shortened version of the Affectometer 2 scale,
which assesses ones current experience of positive and negative feelings
(Kamman & Flett, 1983). Specifically, participants rated how much each of
14 adjectives described how they felt right now on 7-point scales ranging
from 1 (not at all)to7(a great deal). The adjectives were as follows:
clear-headed, depressed, discontented, enthusiastic, free-and-easy, good-
Although participants were required to attend both sessions to receive
credit, an additional 15 participants (6 in the experiential purchase condi-
tion and 9 in the material purchase condition) did not return for the second
session. Their data are not included in the analyses.
Table 3
Study 2: National Survey
Demographic category
Type of purchase
Experiential Material
2134 (350) 59% 36%
3554 (645) 58% 31%
5569 (268) 49% 38%
Employed full or part-time (941) 58% 33%
Retired or unemployed (218) 47% 39%
Students and homemakers (102) 67% 25%
White (1,000) 58% 33%
Black/African American (133) 53% 36%
Asian/Pacific Islander (17) 47% 29%
Other/decline to answer (113) 46% 42%
Male (591) 51% 38%
Female (672) 62% 30%
Marital status
Single, separated, or divorced (336) 60% 32%
Married or living together (895) 56% 34%
Political affiliation
Democrat (418) 55% 35%
Republican (454) 63% 29%
Independent (267) 57% 33%
East (288) 59% 33%
South (411) 55% 35%
Midwest (295) 57% 32%
West (267) 56% 35%
Residential environment
Urban (363) 56% 35%
Suburban (654) 59% 31%
Rural (246) 49% 40%
Note. Percentage of respondents in various demographic categories who indicated that their experiential
purchase made them happier than their material purchase, and the percentage indicating the reverse. The
remaining percentage in each demographic category was unsure whether experiential or material purchases made
them happier. Numbers in parentheses represent the number of respondents in each demographic category (N
1,263). Respondents within each demographic category who declined to answer are not included in the table.
natured, helpless, hopeless, impatient, lonely, loving, optimistic, satisfied,
and withdrawn.
Participants were next asked to write a description of a purchase they
were happy with and that had been made either by them or for them during
their lifetime. Participants were randomly assigned either to the experien-
tial purchase condition or to the material purchase condition. Participants
were asked to describe the purchase itself, not the surrounding circum-
stances. They were asked not to describe a gift they had purchased for
someone else, although they were allowed to describe gifts received.
When participants arrived for the second session, approximately 1 week
later, they were escorted to private rooms and given 10 min to read and
contemplate their description from the first session. Afterward, they were
asked, When thinking about your purchase, how happy does it make
you? which they answered on a scale ranging from 1 (not happy)to9
(extremely happy). The experimenter then said that the study was complete.
As an apparent afterthought, the experimenter mentioned that, Wed
better have you complete a Background Questionnaire. Participants were
then given the same questionnaire they had completed during the first
session. After completing the questionnaire, participants were thanked and
Consistent with the preceding surveys, participants in the expe-
riential purchase condition reported that thinking about their pur-
chase made them happier (M 7.51) than did participants in the
material purchase condition (M 6.86), t(68) 2.26, p .027.
Our primary analysis, however, concerned the effects of contem-
plating experiential versus material purchases on participants
mood. We averaged participants ratings of their current mood on
the goodbad and happysad scales from each session into a single
measure (rs .92 and .82, for Sessions 1 and 2, respectively).
After appropriate reverse scoring, with higher numbers reflecting
more positive (and less negative) feelings, participants 14 re-
sponses to the Affectometer 2 were also averaged to create a single
measure for each session (Cronbachs
.90 for each session).
These two measures were then standardized and averaged into an
overall index for each session. Within Sessions 1 and 2, the two
measures were significantly correlated (rs .73 and .76, respec-
tively). The correlation across sessions of the overall index was
To examine whether contemplating an experiential purchase
placed participants in a relatively better mood than contemplating
a material purchase, we conducted an analysis of covariance com-
paring Session 2 standardized mood scores of participants in the
experiential and material purchase conditions, controlling for their
standardized mood scores during Session 1. As anticipated, par-
ticipants in the experiential purchase condition were in a relatively
better mood (adjusted M 0.20) than were participants in the
material purchase condition (adjusted M 0.20), F(1, 67)
4.59, p .036.
Furthermore, the correlation between participants
reports of how happy thinking about their purchase made them and
their mood during Session 2, controlling for their mood during
Session 1, was .34 (p .04).
These results indicate that the experience of remembering ex-
periential purchases makes people happier than the experience of
remembering material purchases, corroborating peoples self-
reports of how happy thinking about their purchases make them.
There was no significant difference in mood during Session 1 (Ms
.05 and .05, for experiential and material purchases, respectively; t 1).
Analyzing Session 2 moods without including the Session 1 scores as a
covariate yields a marginally significant difference in the expected direc-
tion, F(1, 68) 2.50, p .12.
Figure 1. Percentage of respondents with different levels of income who indicated that their experiential or
material purchase made them happier. Numbers in parentheses are the number of respondents in each income
category; the 127 respondents who either were not sure of their income category or declined to answer are not
included in the graph. The remaining percentage of respondents in each category were not sure whether their
experiential or material purchase made them happier.
Some researchers (e.g., Kahneman, 1999) recommend that mea-
sures of happiness incorporate not only the valence and intensity of
feelings, but also the frequency with which individuals experience
those feelings. The results of this experiment indicate that thinking
about experiential purchases gives people more pleasure than
thinking about material purchases; but do people also think about
their experiential purchases more often? As an initial examination
of this possibility, we administered a short, anonymous survey to
40 Cornell University students, asking them to think of one expe-
riential purchase and one material purchase they had made and
were happy with. When asked which purchase they thought about
more often, a clear majority (83%, 95% confidence interval
71%94%) indicated that they mentally revisited their experi-
ential purchase more often than their material purchase. This
suggests that thinking about experiences not only makes people
happier than thinking about material possessions, they also think
about their experiences more often.
Study 4: Temporal Perspectives
Experiences may make people happier than material possessions
in part because experiences are more open to increasingly favor-
able interpretations over time. One reason (of several) for this
difference is that experiences may have more favorable abstract,
higher level features than material possessions. Visiting a museum,
for example, may have more favorable higher level meanings
(learning,”“becoming cultured) than a new shirt, and these
deeper meanings may figure more prominently in peoples con-
strual of the museum visit over time. Indeed, people generally
construe objects in terms of their central, higher level features
when adopting a temporally distal perspective, but construe them
in terms of peripheral, low-level features when adopting a tempo-
rally proximal perspective (Trope & Liberman, 2003). Academic
conferences, for instance, are often construed more favorably in
the psychologically distant past or future than in the psychologi-
cally near past or future because the abstract, high-level features
(visiting interesting places and advancing science) are more favor-
able than the peripheral, low-level features (packing suitcases and
preparing talks; Liberman & Trope, 1998). Analogously, if expe-
riences have more favorable abstract, high-level features than
material possessions, but equally or less appealing peripheral,
low-level features, then experiences should be relatively more
desirable from a temporally distant perspective than from a tem-
porally proximate perspective. Study 4 tested this prediction.
Building on a procedure used by Liberman and Trope (1998), we asked
84 Cornell University undergraduates, who participated in exchange for
course credit, to imagine facing four choices, each between an experience
and a material possession. The experiences and possessions were culled
from purchase descriptions in other surveys. The purchases were selected
to be gender neutral and, for each choice, were matched as well as possible
for cost. The four choices were between a new watch or going to a
Broadway show, a pair of leather boots or dinner and a comedy show, a
compact disk of ones choice or going to a pool hall, and a new jacket or
spending an evening in a cafe´ with a friend. Some participants were
randomly assigned to imagine they had confronted the choices 1 year ago
(distant past); others imagined they would confront the choices 1 year in
the future (distant future); and a third group imagined they would confront
the choices the following day (near future). For each pair, participants
indicated which they would choose (would have chosen), and which would
make (have made) them happier.
Results and Discussion
Of the four choices, we calculated the percentage of experiences
that each participant indicated he or she would actually choose and
would make the participant happier. As expected, participants
were more likely to indicate that they would choose and be made
happier by experiences when adopting a temporally distal perspec-
tiveeither past or futurethan when adopting a temporally
proximate perspective (see Table 4). A planned contrast revealed
that participants in the two temporally distant conditions were
significantly more likely to choose the experiences than partici-
pants in the near future condition, t(82) 1.99, p .05. (The two
distant conditions did not differ from each other, t[82] 1.21, ns.)
Another planned contrast revealed that participants in the two
distant conditions were more likely to indicate that the experiences
would make them happier than participants in the immediate future
condition, t(82) 2.54, p .013. (Again, the two distant condi-
tions did not differ from each other, t 1.) These results suggest
that experiences have particular appeal when construed from the
higher level of abstraction that comes with temporal distance,
implying that experiences are more open to favorable interpreta-
tions over time.
General Discussion
Evidence from a variety of sources suggests that people derive
more enjoyment from discretionary experiential purchases than
from discretionary material purchases. In Study 1, a sample of
university students indicated that a gratifying experiential purchase
from the recent past made them happier and was more valuable to
them than a gratifying material purchase. Study 2 established the
same pattern of results, albeit to different degrees, in a nationwide
sample of respondents with widely divergent demographic pro-
files: young and old, Black and White, even Democrats and
Republicans. Our contention that people enjoy a greater hedonic
return from experiences than from possessions was reinforced by
the results of Study 3, in which reminding participants of an earlier
experiential purchase put them in a better mood than reminding
them of an earlier material purchase.
A couple elements of these different studies rule out the possi-
bility that people are not really made happier by their experiences
than their possessions, they just say that they are because it is more
socially acceptable to wax enthusiastic about ones experiences
than about ones possessions. In Study 1, experiences were rated
more favorably than possessions in a between-respondents design
in which each type of purchase was evaluated on its own terms, not
in relation to the other. In Study 3, participants did not render an
assessment of either an experiential or material purchase; they
merely contemplated one type or the other and filled out mood
scales, which revealed that contemplating an experience made
them happier than contemplating a material possession.
These findings were foreshadowed by earlier research demon-
strating that individuals who value the acquisition of material
possessions and who endorse extrinsic material goals are less
satisfied with life than those who value material possessions less
(Belk, 1985; Richins & Dawson, 1992) and who do not endorse
extrinsic goals (Kasser & Ryan, 1996). The methods used in this
earlier work make it impossible to know whether the pursuit of
materialistic goals makes people less happy or whether people who
are less happy tend to pursue materialistic goals. Such is not the
case with the present research: Here the methods strongly suggest
that experiential purchases yield greater happiness than material
Three Causes
Why do experiential purchases make people happier than ma-
terial purchases? There are at least three possibilities, each of
which may be a phenomenon worthy of further investigation in its
own right.
Experiences are more open to positive reinterpretation. Expe-
riences are more open than material possessions to increasingly
favorable interpretations and evaluations with the passage of time.
In Study 4, participants were more likely to prefer experiences
over possessions when thinking about having one or the other in
either the distant past or the distant future as opposed to the near
future. Because people who adopt temporally distant perspectives
construe objects in terms of higher level features (Trope & Liber-
man, 2003), this pattern suggests that the higher level features of
experiences are more favorable than the higher level features of
material possessions.
Another reason why experiences may be viewed more favorably
over time is that people are less constrained in their retrospective
evaluations of experiences. One of the core findings of subjective
well-being research is that people adapt to material advances,
requiring continued increases to achieve the same level of satis-
faction (Brickman, Coates, & Janoff-Bulman, 1978; Frederick &
Loewenstein, 1999). Previous experiences, in contrast, exist only
as mental representations. As one forgets incidental annoyances
and distractions that detract from online enjoyment, these mental
representations can be sharpened, leveled, embellished, and recon-
figured to create a much rosier retrospective view than the event
enjoyed originally (Mitchell, Thompson, Peterson, & Cronk,
1997). A hiker may view a grueling trip through Alaskan wilder-
ness more favorably with the passage of time (and the healing of
blisters) than while bushwhacking, in the here-and-now, through
patches of devils club. As one of our survey respondents realized,
material possessions, they sort of become part of the background;
experiences just get better with time.
Experiences are more central to ones identity. A persons life
is quite literally the sum of his or her experiences. The accumu-
lation of rich experiences thus creates a richer life. The same
cannot be said of material possessions. As important and gratifying
as they sometimes are, they usually remain out there, separate
from the individual who attained them. Experiences, then, can
provide greater hedonic value because they contribute so much
more to the construction of the self than material possessions.
Even when both experiences and possessions contribute to a
persons identity, they tend to do so in different ways and to
different effect. Peoples acquisitions can say a great deal about
who they are (Belk, 1988), and people often display purchases as
a signal to others (and to themselves) of desired identities (Richins,
1994). Because there is a negative stereotype of materialistic
people (Fournier & Richins, 1991), the acquisition and display of
material possessions may lead people to apply this negative ste-
reotype to themselves. And because there is a positive stereotype
associated with experiential people (Van Boven & Gilovich,
2003), the acquisition of experiences may lead people to view
themselves in a favorable light. Furthermore, experiences may
contribute more favorably to ones identity because they satisfy
intrinsic goals relating to personal growth (Kasser & Ryan, 1996)
more than material possessions do and are therefore more self-
actualizing (Maslow, 1943).
As an initial examination of whether experiences are more
closely associated with peoples identity, we asked 76 adults (42%
male; M age 36.25 years) at shopping malls in upstate New
York and in New Jersey, and professors and staff at Cornell
University, to think of one experiential purchase and one material
purchase they had been happy with. We asked respondents
whether their experiential or material purchases had played a
greater role in defining who you are in life. Most (89%, 95%
confidence interval 82%96%) indicated that their experiential
purchases were more self-defining than their material purchases.
Experiences have greater social value. A final reason that
experiences make people happier than possessions is that they are
more pleasurable to talk about and they more effectively foster
successful social relationships, which are closely associated with
happiness (e.g., Diener & Seligman, 2002). For one thing, expe-
riences may be inherently more social than material possessions
(consider dining, dancing, and dating vs. shirts, sweaters, and
silverware). Furthermore, because experiences are more likely to
have a typical narrative structure with a beginning, middle, and
end, both listeners and storytellers may enjoy conversing about
experiences more than about possessions. And because being
materialistic is viewed negatively whereas being experiential
is viewed positively, telling stories about experiences one has
acquired may portray the storyteller in a more favorable light than
telling stories about acquired possessions.
In one examination of these possibilities, university students had
a conversation with another student regarding either experiential or
material purchases they had made and were happy with. Those
who had been asked to discuss experiential purchases were more
likely than those who discussed material purchases to say that they
liked each other more, that they enjoyed talking to each other
more, and were more interested in pursuing a friendship with the
other discussant (Van Boven & Gilovich, 2003).
Although the present research tests ideas advanced by philoso-
phers and social theorists for some time, it is also preliminary. Our
theorizing and research doubtless overlooks important complexi-
ties that future research will discover about the relationship be-
Table 4
Study 4: Temporal Perspectives
Temporal perspective
Choice Happiness
Distant past 64% 72%
Near future 50% 58%
Distant future 57% 68%
Note. Average percentage of respondentschoices favoring an experience
over a matched possession and average percentage of participants re-
sponses indicating that the experience would make them happier than the
possession, from three temporal perspectives.
tween the allocation of discretionary resources and well-being. In
any attempt to apply our findings to daily life, then, at least five
boundaries and limitations should be kept in mind.
First, as mentioned earlier, the distinction between experiential
and material purchases is not always clear-cut. Many material
purchases, such as patios, pianos, and Porsches, enable gratifying
experiences. And even some that do not, such as washing ma-
chines, dishwashers, and sprinkling systems, nonetheless free up
time for experiences that would otherwise be spent on drudgery. It
should be noted, however, that material purchases often merely
replace fully functioning existing items with a newer version of the
samebuying yet another new pair of slacks, tearing up the
bathroom linoleum to put in tile, or trading in the 3-year-old family
sedan for this years model. It is unclear what experiential gain
purchases such as these provide. Still, the existence of such am-
biguous cases does raise some important questions for future
research. Is it the case, for example, that material possessions that
afford new life experiences tend to make people happier than those
that do not? Or, do material possessions that are instrumental in the
achievement of experiences make people happier than those ter-
minalpossessions, such as jewelry and most clothing, that tend to
be ends in themselves (Csikszentmihalyi & Rochberg-Halton,
1981; Fournier & Richins, 1991)?
Second, there may be important exceptions to the rule that
experiences make people happier than material possessions. Some
possessions, for example, might be imbued with sentimental value
(an heirloom or wedding ring) that provides many of the same
gratifications as most experiences. And some experiences (eating
out frequently or going to the movies regularly) might be prone to
the same adaptation processes that limit the hedonic value of most
Third, our results do not indicate that material possessions do
not make people happy. Although many social critics have noted
the futility of trying to achieve happiness through the narrow
pursuit of material gain (Frank, 1999; Schor, 2000), the careful and
measured acquisition of material possessions can no doubt ad-
vance ones happiness. Our findings suggest, simply, that a person
would be made happier by investing in life experiences more than
material possessions.
Fourth, we wish to reiterate that our research concerns the
allocation of discretionary resources in the pursuit of happiness.
Our findings do not imply that people should forgo basic needs
such as adequate clothing, housing, or nourishment in pursuit of
life experiences. The present topic may thus be most relevant to
those with the resources to meet their basic needs, and the luxury
of pondering whether to spend the surplus on experiences or
possessions. Still, it is worth considering where, exactly, to draw
the line between necessities and luxuries. Are new automobiles,
name brand clothing, and home entertainment systems necessary?
Or should these possessions be forgone to allow for more experi-
ential acquisitions? The answers to these questions may shed light
on how best to pursue the good life and maximize well-being.
Finally, much of the evidence we have presented involves
peoples summary judgments of the happiness they have derived
from their experiences and possessions. What people recall about
their enjoyment of an object or an event, of course, may not map
on perfectly to their actual online enjoyment. Kahneman (1999)
has shown, for example, that recollections of earlier hedonic
experiences are dominated by a peak-end rulethat is, by what
the experience was like at its best (or worst) and what it was like
at the end. If experiences offer a higher peak experience, and
possessions provide more sustained gratification with a lesser
peak, then people may mistakenly recall that their experiences
gave them greater overall pleasure. This is a viable possibility that
should be examined in subsequent research. It should be noted,
however, that the pleasure we derive from our anticipations and
recollections of events are a substantial part of our online experi-
ence (Elster & Loewenstein, 1992). Our enjoyment of both expe-
riences and possessions extend in time: We enjoy their anticipa-
tion, and, as illustrated by Study 3, further consume their
recollection. If, as Study 4 suggests, experiences are more enjoy-
able than possessions with foresight and hindsight, that fact should
not be brushed aside as a distortion of our true experience: It is our
Psychological research can inform our understanding of every-
day life and suggest ways to improve it. We believe that the
present research does both. We have shown that, for a variety of
reasons, experiential purchases make people happier than material
purchases. These findings have implications both for individuals
resource allocations, and for the allocation of resources by com-
munities. Experiences cannot be acquired if they are not available:
One cannot ski if there are no slopes, hike if there are no trails, or
enjoy the arts if they are not funded. Our research suggests that
individuals will live happier lives if they invest in experiences
more than material possessions. By the same token, communities
will have happier citizens if they make available an abundance of
experiences to be acquired. Both individuals and communities
would thus do well to heed the slogan of the Center for the New
American Dream: More fun, less stuff!
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Accepted March 31, 2003
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... The vicarious expression via involvement is what outlines it as an experiential purchase. Conversely, material purchases are frequently made with the intention of acquiring a material good, or a tangible object that one has the potential to possess (Van Boven & Gilovich, 2003). The touchable aspect of the object is often the simplest way to operationally define material purchases. ...
... For example, across a series of four studies, Van Boven and Gilovich (2003) examined these variables to determine whether investing resources into different purchases types ultimately led to greater happiness levels. They found that their participants reported more happiness from positive experiential purchases when compared to positive material purchases (Van Boven & Gilovich, 2003). However, one area that has yet to be examined with scientific rigor is the effect of negative valence purchases. ...
... Experiential consumption, defined by Van Boven and Gilovich (2003) as purchases made to consume a life experience, is expanding in the market (Pelletier & Collier, 2018). In Brazil, for example, in a pre-COVID-19 scenario, about 57% of Brazilians said they preferred to spend on experiences rather than tangible products (Altagamma, 2020). ...
... The popularity of experiential shopping occurs because this type of consumption promotes greater social connection, contributes to self-knowledge, provides more lasting satisfaction, and is considered to increase wellbeing and happiness (Carter & Gilovich, 2012;Kumar & Gilovich, 2016;Rosenzweig & Gilovich, 2012;Van Boven & Gilovich, 2003). Within the scope of social media, this type of consumption has its records increasingly frequent, being shared by the consumers themselves through the publication of photos and videos in their profiles, demonstrating that the internet and the platforms of social media contribute to the consumers to expand their consumption limit (Wang et al., 2020). ...
... Among the products that are on the rise in the market, experiences stand out due to their proximity to the consumer's self (Pelletier & Collier, 2018), originating the concept of experiential consumption as determined by Van Boven and Gilovich (2003). Experiential consumption is related to those purchases made with the main objective of consuming life experiences, while material goods refer to purchases made with the fundamental intention of obtaining a tangible good in return (Van Boven & Gilovich, 2003). ...
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Objective to develop and test a model that explains the motivations for the behavior of disclosing the consumption of experiences on social media, considering the effect of materialism. Theoretical approach the reasons given by the literature for the use of social media and materialism are adopted to understand the increasingly popular behavior of disclosing experiential consumption. Method the study is based on a sequential mixed methods approach. First, a qualitative study was carried out with social media users. Subsequently, conceptual models were tested by PLS-SEM. Results the conspicuous consumption online refers to the final construct of the explanatory model of the behavior of disclosing the experiential consumption in social media. The dissemination of experiences is used to build a positive identity and for the creation interpersonal relationships. From the conceptual models analyzed, it is admitted that materialism can play different roles in the explanatory model of the behavior of disclosing the consumption of experiences in social media. Conclusions when verifying the conspicuity in consumption and exposition of experiences, it is assumed that consumers are focusing more on symbolic meanings than on satisfying psychological needs when adhering to experiential consumption. Keywords: experiential consumption; social comparison; social interaction; self-promotion; conspicuous consumption
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... Experiential gifts lack tangible presence and are eeting in nature, making them dif cult to compare with other alternatives (Chan and Mogilner 2017). Research suggests that experiential goods tend to provide individuals with more satisfaction and happiness during the consumption process in comparison to material goods (Nicolao, Irwin, and Goodman 2009;Van Boven and Gilovich 2003). In the context of gifting, experiential gifts, such as concert tickets, require a deeper understanding of the recipient's preferences to make a suitable selection. ...
... Existe evidência empírica que compras experienciais, como por exemplo férias e concertos musicais, geram níveis de felicidade mais elevados do que compras de bens materiais, um fenômeno denominado de "recomendação de experiência" ou "vantagem experiencial" (Van Boven & Gilovich, 2003). Contudo, e baseando-se na dicotomia entre bens hedônicos/utilitários, Kousi et al. (2023) concluíram que algumas compras de bens materiais que os consumidores efetuam também apresentam um valor hedónico significativo e semelhante ao que tradicionalmente se encontra associado às compras experienciais, pelo que os consumidores também podem obter elevados níveis de felicidade através das compras materiais, nomeadamente quando os bens em causa apelam às emoções, são orientados para diversão e excitação, e o ato de compra é motivado pela busca de prazer. ...
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p>O desenvolvimento económico, a globalização e a busca da felicidade por parte do consumidor, têm sido apontados como os principais fatores associados ao consumo excessivo. Contraditório com o estilo de vista consumista que caracteriza as sociedades ocidentais contemporâneas, alguns consumidores estabelecem uma forma diferente de estar, recorrendo ao anticonsumo. Esta forma alternativa de encarar o mercado requer melhor compreensão, devido ao seu impacto nas políticas de marketing. O objetivo deste estudo consiste em discutir conceptualmente a relação entre o consumo e o anticonsumo e a sua influência no bem-estar e na felicidade do consumidor. Em segundo lugar, pretende-se desenvolver um modelo conceptual que explique a relação entre os conceitos de consumo, anticonsumo, materialismo e felicidade do consumidor. Tendo em vista os objetivos delineados, realiza-se uma revisão narrativa da literatura sobre anticonsumo e consumismo, com base na qual se constrói o modelo conceptual proposto. O modelo proposto adota a perspetiva hedónica ao considerar a felicidade como a avaliação subjetiva do bem-estar. Supõem-se que o consumo e o anticonsumo, quando moderados, podem contribuir para a felicidade do consumidor. Em oposição assume-se que formas extremas de consumismo e de anticonsumo apresentam efeitos negativos na avaliação subjetiva do bem-estar e felicidade pelo consumidor. Economic development, globalization and the consumer's pursuit of happiness have been identified as the main factors associated with excessive consumption. Contradictory to the consumerist style of life that characterizes contemporary Western societies, some consumers establish a different way of life, resorting to anti-consumption. This alternative way of looking at the market requires better understanding, due to its impact on marketing policies. The aim of this study is to conceptually discuss the relationship between consumption and anti-consumption and their influence on consumer well-being and happiness. Second, we intend to develop a conceptual model that explains the relationship between the constructs of consumption, anti-consumption, materialism, and consumer happiness. In view of the objectives outlined, a narrative review of the literature on anti-consumption and consumerism is carried out, based on which the proposed conceptual model is constructed. The proposed model adopts the hedonic perspective by considering happiness as the subjective evaluation of well-being. It is assumed that consumption and anti-consumption, when moderated, can contribute to consumer happiness. In contrast, it is assumed that extreme forms of consumerism and anti-consumption have negative effects on the subjective evaluation of well-being and happiness by the consumer. Article visualizations: </p
... The items for all the constructs were extracted from previously validated studies, such as that on HAP (Van Boven & Gilovich, 2003), PIM (Jennett et al., 2008), TST (Gefen, Karahanna, & Straub, 2003), PS (Luarn & Lin, 2005), (Parasuraman et al., 2005), (Schierz et al., 2010), and PV (Sirdeshmukh et al., 2002), WTA (Lu et al., 2019), (Venkatesh, Thong, & Xu, 2012), and finally WTP (Laroche et al., 2003). Five-point Likert scales were used to assess all constructs. ...
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The recent global changes in Information and Communications Technology (ICT), have demonstrated a tremendous range of technological use cases in- cluding the use of Artificial Intelligent (AI) applications (apps) for financial services. In light of the latest developments of generative AI tools such as ChatGPT, this study develops an innovative research model used for the pre- diction of the most significant factors influencing consumers’ willingness to accept and willingness to buy generative AI banking apps, under the theory of the Value-based Adoption Model (VAM). The authors have conducted an online survey of Greek consumers of AI banking apps using Structural Equa- tion Modeling (SEM) to determine which variables enhance customers’ per- ceived value performing significant influence on AI banking apps adoption and willingness to purchase. This research found that trust and happiness are the most significant variables impacting the intention to use and buy conver- sational AI banking apps. The most likely outcome is the mediating role of consumers’ perceived value in willingness to accept and pay using AI banking apps. The conclusions and implications for marketing can help financial in- stitutions augment the accuracy of the audit and advisory services, enhancing customer satisfaction and engagement and increasing bank competitiveness.
... These interpersonal and personal motives to luxury consumption cannot be generalized across different consumption situations and consumer segments. For example, studies have shown that consumers generally care more about luxury experiences (such as vacation) than the consumption of luxury products (such as fashion goods) where they are typically happier (Van Boven & Gilovich, 2003) and less regretful (Rosenzweig & Gilovich, 2012). This desire for creating experiences is heightened for consumers with a higher level of sharing as their evaluations shift from more to fewer tangible attributes. ...
The exponential growth of the sharing economy has led to the emergence of new forms of luxury services and experiences challenging luxury’s DNA.. This growth in shared luxury services and experiences has resulted in the emergence of new consumer segments. In this research we aim to answer the following research question: who are these consumers and what are their characteristics, motives, and attitudes? While previous research has hitherto investigated consumers’ perceptions of new forms of liquid luxury, little is known about the types and characteristics of consumers who engage in shared luxury services and experiences. This work delves deeper into the different motivational and behavioral characteristics of 805 US-based consumers in a shared luxury service context. Through a cluster analysis, we draw on sharing economy and luxury consumption motivations and uncover four main clusters of shared luxury consumers: Luxury indulgers, excellence-driven traditionalists, value seekers, and community engagers. We delineate each cluster’s different characteristics, motivations, and attitudes towards shared luxury services and offer theoretical and managerial implications for shared luxury providers as well as traditional luxury marketers who wish to tap into this fast-growing market.
Günümüzde küreselleşmeden dolayı teknoloji ve sosyal çevre hızla değişmektedir. Üretim ve tüketim de teknolojik gelişmelerle birlikte değişime uğramıştır. Tüketiciler bu dönemde farklı davranışlar sergilemektedir. Dolayısıyla postmodern toplum, modern topluma tepki olarak gelişen tüketim odaklı bir topluma dönüşmüştür. Postmodernizmde tüketim faaliyetleri bireylerin ihtiyaçlarını karşılamaktan çok farklı bir anlam ifade etmektedir. Bu tüketim şeklinde, mallar daha çok sembolik değerleri nedeniyle tercih edilmektedir. Postmodern tüketici, kendini tüketim yoluyla yeniden keşfeden, heyecan verici tüketim deneyimleriyle bireyselleşmiş kimlikler geliştiren kişilerdir. Ayrıca markalar aracılığıyla diğer tüketicilerin önünde kendini sergileyerek sosyal olarak güçlü görülmeye çalışmaktadır. Bu nedenle araştırmanın amacı, postmodern tüketicilerin moda ürünleri satın alma kararında marka tutumu ve materyalist eğilimlerinin etkisini araştırmak olarak belirlenmiştir. Bu amaca göre Manisa ilinde yaşayan 388 katılımcıya çevrimiçi ortamda kolayda örneklem yolu ile anket yapılarak veriler toplanmıştır. Araştırma da dört ayrı ölçek kullanılmıştır. Çalışma SPSS 21 istatistik programıyla değerlendirilmiştir. Cronbach’s Alpha katsayısı ile ölçeklerin güvenirliliği test edilmiştir. Daha sonra Kolmogorov-Smirnov testi, frekans analizi, korelasyon ve regresyon analizi yapılmıştır. Elde edilen sonuçlara göre baktığımızda model bütün olarak anlamlıdır. Tüketicilerin moda ürünleri satın alma kararında tüketici özellikleri ve marka tutumlarının pozitif yönde etkisinin olduğu görülmektedir. Ayrıca marka tutumunun postmodern tüketici özelliklerine göre satın alma kararı üzerindeki etkisi daha fazladır. Sonuç olarak işletmelerin postmodern tüketicilerin özelliklerini, materyalist eğilimlerini ve marka tutumlarını da ele almaları gerekmektedir.
Purpose Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing product recommendations, but little is known about consumer acceptance of AI recommendations. This study examines how to improve consumers' acceptance of AI recommendations from the perspective of product type (material vs experiential). Design/methodology/approach Four studies, including a field experiment and three online experiments, tested how consumers' preference for AI-based (vs human) recommendations differs between material and experiential product purchases. Findings Results show that people perceive AI recommendations as more competent than human recommendations for material products, whereas they believe human recommendations are more competent than AI recommendations for experiential products. Therefore, people are more (less) likely to choose AI recommendations when buying material (vs experiential) products. However, this effect is eliminated when is used as an assistant to rather than a replacement for a human recommendation. Originality/value This study is the first to focus on how products' material and experiential attributes influence people's attitudes toward AI recommendations. The authors also identify under what circumstances resistance to algorithmic advice is attenuated. These findings contribute to the research on the psychology of artificial intelligence and on human–technology interaction by investigating how experiential and material attributes influence preference for or resistance to AI recommenders.
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This paper focuses on consumer materialism within the American culture. It reviews some of the diverse conceptions of materialism in the contemporary social science literature and compares these theoretical notions with popular notions obtained from an exploratory survey of adult consumers. While popular notions tend to mirror theoretical conceptions, they differ in several important ways. Synthesis of the two sources of knowledge suggests that consumer research may be served best by conceptualizing materialism as a central organizing value rather than a trait or behavioral tendency. In addition, instead of labeling material consumption as "good" or "bad," it is recommended that researchers examine the extent to which individuals or societies perceive possessions as instrumental in achieving valued goals. Finally, it is proposed that the study of materialism should consider processes that precede acquisition.
Construal level theory We started with how the value of outcomes changes over temporal distance and ended up with what we hope is a step toward a general theory of psychological distance. There are different psychologies for the different dimensions of psychological distance – temporal, spatial, social, and hypotheticality. Without denying the uniqueness of each of these dimensions and more specific aspects comprising those dimensions, we believe they all entail transcending the present through constructing mental models of what is not directly experienced. The farther removed an object is from me on any distance dimension, the higher (more abstract) the level of mental construal of that object. Psychological distance thus expands or contracts depending on level of construal. Consistent with this proposal, research conducted in the framework of construal level theory (CLT) suggests that (1) different distance dimensions are mentally associated, (2) that distance on any of these dimensions influences ...
How does mood influence verbal communication, such as the use of requests? On the basis of the Affect Infusion Model (J. P. Forgas, 1995a), 3 experiments predicted and found that (a) negative moods increase and positive moods decrease request politeness and (b) they do so most in difficult situations that require more substantive processing. In Experiment 1, sad mood enhanced and happy mood reduced request politeness, especially in difficult situations. In Experiment 2, similar mood effects on the politeness and elaboration of self-generated requests were found. In Experiment 3, these findings were replicated in a variety of request situations by use of a different mood induction. Recall data confirmed that more substantive processing enhanced mood effects on requesting. The cognitive mechanisms mediating mood effects on requesting are discussed, and the implications of the results for interpersonal communication and for recent affect-cognition theories are considered.
Robert Frank caused a national debate in 1995 when he and co-author Philip Cook described the poisonous spread of "winner-take-all" markets. Now he takes a thought-provoking look at the flip side of spreading inequality: as the super-rich set the pace, everyone else spends furiously in a competitive echo of wastefulness. Frank offers the first comprehensive and accessible summary of scientific evidence that our spending choices are not making us as happy and healthy as they could. Furthermore, he argues that human frailty is not at fault. The good news is that we can do something about it. We can make it harder for the super-rich to overspend, and capture our own competitive energy for the public good. Luxury Fever boldly offers a way to curb the excess and restore the true value of money.
A consistent method has been developed to calculate induced electromagnetic fields and optical transitions of electrons in a solid, in response to an incident laser beam of (circular) frequency ω. The analysis is based upon the independent-particle Schrödinger equation for electrons and Maxwell's equations for the electromagnetic fields. General expressions for linear and bilinear currents as well as second-order optical transition probabilities have been derived. It is shown that the second-order transition probability, which is proportional to the fourth power in the incident field, contains two different types of terms, describing double-photon transitions of the incident frequency ω and single-photon transitions of the harmonic frequency 2ω. An estimate has been made to show that in the case of centrosymmetric solids like metals, the relative contribution due to the single second-harmonic photon transition is of the order (e2/ℏc)2≪1 in the optical region, compared with the double-fundamental-photon transition. However, in the case of solids lacking inversion symmetry, the contributions due to these two processes are estimated to be of the same order in magnitude.
Empirical research and organismic theories suggest that lower well-being is associated with having extrinsic goals focused on rewards or praise relatively central to one's personality in comparison to intrinsic goals congruent with inherent growth tendencies. In a sample of adult subjects (Study 1), the relative importance and efficacy of extrinsic aspirations for financial success, an appealing appearance, and social recognition were associated with lower vitality and self-actualization and more physical symptoms. Conversely, the relative importance and efficacy of intrinsic aspirations for self-acceptance, affiliation, community feeling, and physical health were associated with higher well-being and less distress. Study 2 replicated these findings in a college sample and extended them to measures of narcissism and daily affect. Three reasons are discussed as to why extrinsic aspirations relate negatively to well-being, and future research directions are suggested.