Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/13203
The first part of this paper (Chapter 1) serves as background to the brief research report in the second part. It examines one of the core values of consumer culture, materialism and its effects on subjective well-being. Subjective well-being as a measure of happiness is briefly discussed. Then, three approaches to conceptualizing and measuring materialism in psychology are briefly reviewed and the advantages and disadvantages of each discussed. This is followed by a summary of the major research results that have examined the relationship between materialism and subjective well-being. Finally, theories advanced on how materialism exerts its effects on individuals are discussed in an attempt to answer the question whether materialism is inherently bad.
The second part of the paper (Chapter 2) is a brief research report examining the mediating effect of two money motives (identity and happiness) in the link between relative financial goal importance and subjective well-being. In isolation both motives fully mediated the relationship. However, when both motives were entered simultaneously, the identity motive emerged as a stronger predictor and fully mediated the relationship between relative financial goal importance and well-being while the happiness motive ceased to be significant. Important theoretical and practical implications for the direction of future research on materialism and the development of policies are briefly discussed.