Truly, Madly, Deeply: Consumers in the Throes of Material Possession Love
John L. Lastovicka
Nancy J. Sirianni
Journal of Consumer Research
Volume 38, Number 2, August 2011
Published by The University of Chicago Press
This research on material possession love expands an understanding of the role that discrete emotional attachment forms play in identifying commercial value for marketers and in enhancing consumer well-being. Employing a mixed-methods research design (relying on both qualitative and quantitative data) the authors develop and empirically test a three-factor, but seven-faceted, conceptualization of material possession love in four separate consumption contexts (automobiles, computers, bicycles, and firearms). Love-smitten consumers nurture their beloved possessions, in part, by buying complementary products and services. Material possession love is empirically tied to loneliness and social affiliation deficits, which suggests a compensatory basis of consumer well-being. The authors distinguish possession love from the construct of attitude and empirically demonstrate the distinct functionality of each. Their concluding discussion considers the mixed-methods findings and implications for consumer research.
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