When Wanting Is Better than Having: Materialism, Transformation Expectations, and Product-Evoked Emotions in the Purchase Process
Marsha L. Richins
Journal of Consumer Research
Volume 40, Number 1, June 2013, pp 1-18
Published by The University of Chicago Press
Materialists believe that acquiring products will make them happier, but the validity of this premise has not been examined empirically. Two cross-sectional studies and one longitudinal study examine the emotions evoked by products before and after purchase. High-materialism consumers consistently show hedonic elevation in product-evoked emotions before purchase, followed by hedonic decline after purchase. Low-materialism consumers, however, do not display this pattern. Hedonic elevation appears to be due to expectations among high-materialism consumers that purchase of the desired product will transform their lives in significant and meaningful ways. Satisfaction processes may partially explain the hedonic decline that follows purchase among high-materialism consumers but also suggest that for these consumers, the state of anticipating and desiring a product may be inherently more pleasurable than product ownership itself.
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