Can Purchases Make Us Happier? Perhaps, if We Tell Others about Them
Material and Experiential Purchases
Word of Mouth
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoRelease after 07-Feb-2014
AbstractThe question of what type of purchase (i.e., experiential vs. material) typically advances more happiness has been answered (Van Boven and Gilovich, 2003). This dissertation employed three different manipulation methods across six studies to investigate what underlies this effect. A consistent pattern of results demonstrated that verbal sharing (i.e., telling others) helps explain the superiority of experiential purchases in advancing happiness. Moreover, I found that people's greater inclination to share about their experiential (vs. material) purchases is driven by their expectation of being more highly regarded by their listeners. Taken together, these findings shed light on a behavioral (i.e., sharing) and psychological process (i.e., expected regard) that help us understand why experiences make people happier than do material objects.
Degree ProgramGraduate College