Happiness For Sale: Do Experiential Or Material Purchases Lead to More Consumer Happiness?

Researchers have suggested that consumers would be happier if they spent their money on experiences as opposed to material possessions. In four experiments, we test this experience recommendation, and show that it may be misleading in its general form. We find that valence of the outcome significantly moderates differences in respondents’ reported retrospective happiness with material versus experiential purchases. This valence by purchase type interaction is especially strong for consumers who are not materialistic. These results have implications for consumers attempting to maximize their happiness, and for marketers and public policymakers who have an interest in consumer welfare.



Citation:

Julie Irwin, Joseph Goodman, and Leonardo Nicolao (2008) ,"Happiness For Sale: Do Experiential Or Material Purchases Lead to More Consumer Happiness?", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 72-75.

Authors

Julie Irwin, University of Texas, Austin
Joseph Goodman, University of Texas, Austin
Leonardo Nicolao, University of Texas, Austin



Volume

NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35 | 2008



Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More

Featured

Cultivating Collaboration and Value Cocreation in Consumption Journeys

Melissa Archpru Akaka, University of Denver
Hope Schau, University of Arizona, USA

Read More

Featured

Green Biases: Consumer Evaluations of Renewable and Non-Renewable Energy Sources

Nathan Dhaliwal, University of British Columbia, Canada
David Hardisty, University of British Columbia, Canada
Jiaying Zhang, University of British Columbia, Canada

Read More

Featured

D7. ‘That’s (Not) My Business’: Examining Behavior, Interactions and Implications of Consumer Brand Advocates and Brand Adversaries in Social Media

Marcus Opitz, University of Vienna
Sabine Einwiller, University of Vienna

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.