Relationship between materialism and self-construals

Turan, Gizem
The aim of the present study was to explore the associations between different types of orientations toward materialism, and to investigate the relationship between materialistic orientations and different self-construal types as suggested by the Balanced Integration and Differentiation (BID) Model (İmamoğlu, 1998, 2003). The sample was consisted of 335 Middle East Technical University students (168 females, 167 males) with a mean age of 21.34. The questionnaire consisted of eight scales that were used to measure materialism, self-construals, family environment, attachment, and self and family satisfaction. The scales were Material Values Scale (Richins & Dawson, 1992), Aspiration Index (Kasser & Ryan, 1996), the New Materialism Scale which was developed for the current study, Balanced Integration and Differentiation Scale (BIDS, Imamoglu, 1998), Perceived Family Atmosphere Scale (Imamoğlu, 2001), Family Satisfaction Index, and Self Satisfaction Index (Imamoğlu, 2001) as well as the Relationship Questionnaire (Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991). Through the analyses on the data from the New Materialism scale, that had acceptable psychometric qualities, four sub-constructs of materialism were found that are extrinsic orientations, acquisitiveness, attachment to possessions, and sharing. Both MANOVA and regression analyses were performed and it was seen that respondents with related-individuated and separated-patterned self-types, proposed by the BID Model to represent the most balanced and unbalanced self-types, respectively, significantly differed from each other in terms of materialism score ratings measured by Material Values Scale and New Materialism scale. The people with the unbalanced type seemed to be more oriented towards materialism compared to the ones with the balanced type. While lower levels of individuation predicted higher levels of materialism for all materialism measures except attachment to possessions, the lower levels of relatedness predicted higher levels of materialism in terms of happiness, the belief that happiness can be gained through possessions, and sharing, the degree of unwillingness to share one’s possessions with other people. Considering gender, women are found to be more acquisitive, giving a central importance to possessions and more interested in image as an aspiration. Through the analysis of the relationship patterns using SEM, a model was proposed for the relationships between different types of materialism, self orientations, and gender. Three different types of materialism, i.e. existential materialism, relational materialism, and indulgent materialism, were generated. Low levels of individuation predicted all three types of materialism. Low levels of relatedness predicted only relational materialism, whereas being woman predicted indulgent materialism. Theoretical implications of these findings are discussed in the framework of the BID Model.


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Citation Formats
G. Turan, “Relationship between materialism and self-construals,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2007.