The material and immaterial in conflict: Spirituality reduces conspicuous consumption

Tyler F. Stillman, Frank D. Fincham, Kathleen D. Vohs, Nathaniel M. Lambert, Christa A. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many spiritual leaders have argued that materialistic pursuits are incompatible with following a spiritual life. Consistent with this view, we found that higher levels of spirituality correspond to a decreased desire to consume material goods in a conspicuous manner. Study 1 was correlational, and found that people who reported having spiritual experiences reported a decreased desire to spend lavishly for visible consumer goods, such as a cell phone. Study 2 was experimental, and found that participants assigned to recall a spiritual event also demonstrated a decreased desire to consume conspicuously, relative to participants assigned to recall an enjoyable event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012

Keywords

  • Conspicuous consumption
  • Materialism
  • Religion
  • Spending
  • Spirituality

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