Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

When the going gets tough, the materialistic go shopping

Date:
September 25, 2013
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
Materialistic people experience more stress from traumatic events such as terrorist attacks and are more likely to spend compulsively as a result, according to an international study.

Materialistic people experience more stress from traumatic events such as terrorist attacks and are more likely to spend compulsively as a result, according to an international study led by a Michigan State University business professor.

These possession-driven folks tend to have lower self-esteem than others, said Ayalla Ruvio, assistant professor of marketing in MSU's Broad College of Business.

"When the going gets tough, the materialistic go shopping," said Ruvio. "And this compulsive and impulsive spending is likely to produce even greater stress and lower well-being. Essentially, materialism appears to make bad events even worse."

For the first part of the study, Ruvio and colleagues surveyed 139 citizens from a southern Israeli town under extreme rocket attacks from Palestine for about six months in 2007. Ruvio, who is from northern Israel, coordinated the data collection amid the terrorist attacks. Her co-researchers were Eli Somer, professor and clinical psychologist at the University of Haifa in Israel, and Aric Rindfleisch, business professor and department head at the University of Illinois.

The researchers also surveyed 170 residents from another Israeli town that was not under attack.

The results: Highly materialistic people, when faced with a mortal threat, reported much higher levels of post-traumatic stress symptoms and impulsive and compulsive buying than their less materialistic counterparts.

"The relationship between materialism and stress may be more harmful than commonly thought," Ruvio said.

For the second part of the study, the researchers set out to examine the factors behind the effects of materialism observed in Israel. They commissioned a survey of 855 U.S. residents and asked about their materialistic nature and fear of death.

The second part of the study also found that materialistic people are more likely to try to relieve fear of death through impulsive and out-of-control spending. In this case, the effects occurred not just in response to a specific threat such as a terrorist attack but as a way to cope with general anxiety about mortality.

The findings suggest that materialism's intensifying effect on extreme stress may be driven by a global response to fear of death and by low self-esteem.

The results may extend to a wide variety of contexts. Post-traumatic stress arises from a host of events such as automobile accidents, criminal attacks and natural disasters. Ruvio said future research should address the relationship between stress and materialism in different contexts.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ayalla Ruvio, Eli Somer, Aric Rindfleisch. When bad gets worse: the amplifying effect of materialism on traumatic stress and maladaptive consumption. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 2013; DOI: 10.1007/s11747-013-0345-6

Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "When the going gets tough, the materialistic go shopping." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130925103047.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2013, September 25). When the going gets tough, the materialistic go shopping. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130925103047.htm
Michigan State University. "When the going gets tough, the materialistic go shopping." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130925103047.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) A new study suggests that mixing alcohol with energy drinks makes you want to keep the party going. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

AP (July 18, 2014) Following the nationwide trend of eased restrictions on marijuana use, pot edibles are growing in popularity. One Boston-area cooking class is teaching people how to eat pot responsibly. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Understanding D.C.'s New Pot Laws

Understanding D.C.'s New Pot Laws

Newsy (July 17, 2014) Washington D.C.'s new laws decriminalizing small amount of marijuana went into effect Thursday. Here's how they work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins