University of Sussex
Moldes Andrés, Olaya.pdf (1.46 MB)

Spending money on well-being: identity and motivation processes involved in the association of well-being with material and experiential consumer products

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posted on 2023-06-09, 12:34 authored by Olaya Moldes Andrés
This thesis investigates the identity and motivation processes involved in the association of well-being with consumer products (material or experiential). Through a series of four empirical studies looking at consumer spending behaviours, it both tests and extends some of the theoretical claims made by motivated identity construction theory (MICT, Vignoles, 2011), which postulates that the satisfaction of identity motives (such as self-esteem, distinctiveness or effectiveness) enhance well-being, and self-determination (SDT, Deci & Ryan, 2002), which postulates that the pursuit of the extrinsic goals (such as wealth, image and fame) leads to lower well-being. The current thesis suggests that it might not be so much what consumers buy (material or experiential purchases), but how consumer products are thought to transform or enhance one’s extended sense of self by satisfying identity motives (MICT) (Paper 1 and 3), and why people are motivated to make a spending behaviour that drives the effects on well-being that consumers associate with a purchase (SDT: intrinsic or extrinsic goals; paper 2). As a result, the present research contributes to the literature on material and experiential consumption by providing a theoretically-driven explanation for the differences in well-being found between the different types of consumer products as identity processes mediate the relationship between what consumers buy and the well-being associated with a purchase, and that goal orientations predict both those identity processes and the initial choice of spending behaviour. Moreover, it provides a behavioural explanation for the extended body of literature that has found a negative relationship between extrinsic goals and well-being (i.e., Dittmar, Bond et al., 2014) as it fills in the gap between goals and well-being by suggesting that concrete behaviours concerning the allocation of economic resources mediatethe relationship between goals pursued and the well-being experience.


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