Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/36987
In today’s contemporary society, our material possessions have a lot of meaning to us and even indicate who we are as individuals. We define ourselves and others define us by the things we own, thus we tend to seek a preferred identity by identity bolstering. Identity bolstering is seeking material objects that are believed to get us closer to our desired identity. Many studies indicate that identity and the self-concept are strongly influential with regard to materialistic tendencies. The objective of this study was to examine if the relationship between materialism and self-concept clarity is mediated through identity bolstering. To conduct the study quantitative methodology was used with relevant measuring scales as well as an electronic convenience sample to obtain data. In total, 445 individuals participated in the study.
The results showed that identity bolstering does function as a significant mediator between self-concept clarity and material values. Individuals with low levels of self-concept clarity, which defines those who are less confident in who they are, experience more identity bolstering and therefore seek to bolster their identities by obtaining certain material objects. Consecutively, those that experience identity bolstering have higher levels of materialism, which indicates that those who tend to obtain material objects to get closer to a desired identity are more materialistic then others. By way of explanation, the mediation becomes a system among the three constructs, self-concept clarity, identity bolstering and material values.
The results also indicated that the more self-concept clarity an individual has or the more confident an individual is in him or herself, the less materialistic they seem to be. The results of the current study likewise showed that the higher one’s confidence in him or herself is, the less likely one is to seek material possessions to bolster a desired identity. These results are consistent with other studies that focus on formation of identity based on materialism and consumption.
The economy and the marketplace itself are in many cases driven by the consumers desire for identity bolstering and their self-concept clarity. Knowing this can give a company and the larger economy a better understanding of what lies behind the consumer behavior that is the motivation and the driving force of the world.
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