Materialism can influence life satisfaction both positively and negatively. We build on the dual model of materialism (Sirgy et al. Social Indicators Research, 110(1), 349-366, 2013) to make the case that two dimensions of materialism—success and happiness—may influence life satisfaction differently. Success materialism (wealth and material possessions is a sign of success in life) may influence life satisfaction positively, whereas happiness materialism (wealth and material consumption is a sign of happiness in life) may influence life satisfaction negatively. Success materialism contributes to life satisfaction because it serves to boost economic motivation and causing a rise in future satisfaction with their standard of living, which in turn contributes to future life satisfaction. Happiness materialism, in contrast, influences life satisfaction adversely through two paths. One path involves dissatisfaction with standard of living, which in turn influences life satisfaction in a negative way. The other negative path involves dissatisfaction with other life domains; that is, happiness materialism detracts from life satisfaction by undermining satisfaction in other life domains such as financial life, family life, social life, etc. Data from a large-scale representative survey of 7599 German adults provided good support for the hypotheses and more.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Life-span and Life-course Studies