Materialism, status consumption, and consumer independence

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Materialism influences many people. We focus on two aspects of this influence: reactions to prestige products and to the influence of others. A study of 187 U.S. student consumers shows that materialism is positively related to buying products that confer status. In contrast, materialism is negatively related to consumer independence, an enduring tendency to pay minimal attention to the prescribed norms of other consumers and to make product and brand decisions according to personal preferences. Consuming products for status is also negatively related to consumer independence. Moreover, the association between materialism and consumer independence is completely mediated by consuming for status. Materialism urges consumers to be status conscious so that they follow social norms in purchasing, but seeking status through goods is avoided by less materialistic, independent consumers. A second study (n"‰="‰258) also using student consumers confirmed these results.

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Goldsmith, Ronald Earl, and Ronald A. Clark. Materialism, status consumption, and consumer independence." The Journal of social psychology 152, no. 1 (2012): 43-60."

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