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Beyond experiential spending: Consumers report higher well-being from purchases that satisfy intrinsic goals

Moldes, Olaya ORCID: 2022. Beyond experiential spending: Consumers report higher well-being from purchases that satisfy intrinsic goals. British Journal of Social Psychology 10.1111/bjso.12602

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Consumption is thought to be a goal-directed behaviour often marketed as a source of happiness. However, it has yet to be tested whether we associate greater happiness with purchases that help us move towards our goals—goal satisfaction mechanism—or whether spending behaviours that help us primarily to attain intrinsic goals—such as affiliation or self-growth—are linked to higher well-being as self-determination theory would predict. Across two studies, intrinsic goal satisfaction was associated with greater well-being, rather than the purchase helping the consumer to satisfy their goals. Moreover, intrinsic goal satisfaction predicted significantly more variance in well-being (13%–16%) than the material-experiential purchase typology (2%–5%) used in past research. Finally, higher dispositional extrinsic goals predicted both extrinsic and intrinsic goal satisfaction through consumption suggesting that materialistic individuals might use consumption as a strategy to seek the attainment of intrinsic goals. These findings suggest that future research should shift the focus from the purchase (what is bought) to the consumer (who is spending money and why) when looking at the links between spending money and happiness. Finally, this report hints that future interventions aiming to reduce excessive consumption should explore lessening people's extrinsic goals.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0144-6665
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 November 2022
Date of Acceptance: 5 October 2022
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2023 16:03

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