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Psychological flexibility, non-attachment and materialism

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materialism, psychological flexibility, experiential purchasing, non-attachment

Abstract (summary)

Psychological flexibility, or the ability to flexibly respond to psychological events, may be associated with peoples' preferences for material versus experiential purchases, their attachment to objects and experiences, and their motivation for non-material purchases. The present research tested predictions that greater psychological flexibility and lesser psychological inflexibility are associated with lower materialism and non-attachment (Study 1) and with a greater preference for, and internal motivation toward, experiential versus material purchases (Study 2). Study 1 (N = 298 undergraduates) revealed relationships between psychological inflexibility, high materialism, and attachment, and between psychological flexibility, low materialism, and non-attachment. Non-attachment was a meditator in the relationships between both flexibility and inflexibility and materialism. Study 2 (N = 299 undergraduates) revealed that psychological flexibility was correlated with both experiential buying and autonomous reasons for experiential buying, whereas inflexibility was related to controlled and amotivated reasons for experiential buying. We discuss the research and practice implications of the current findings.

Publication Information

Watson, D. C. & Howell, A. (2023). Psychological flexibility, non-attachment and materialism. Personality and Individual Differences, 202:111965.


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