University of Michigan2014-09-03 5:58 PM

To have in order to do: Exploring the effects of consuming experiential products on well-being

Abstract

The experience recommendation – if you want to be happier, buy life experiences instead of material items – is supported in empirical research. However, this evidence is primarily based on the dichotomous comparison of material items and life experiences. The goal of this article is to examine the effects of consuming experiential products – purchases that fall between material items and life experiences – on well-being. Study 1 and Study 2 demonstrate that experiential products provide similar levels of well-being compared to life experiences and more well-being than material items. Study 3 replicates this finding for purchases that turn out well. In addition, Study 3 shows experiential products, when compared to life experiences, lead to more feelings of competence but less feelings of relatedness, which explains why these two purchases result in similar levels of well-being. We discuss why experiential products and life experiences lead to psychological need satisfaction and how our results support the Positive-Activity Model, Self-Determination Theory, and Holbrook and Hirschman's hedonic consumption framework.

Full Article:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1057740814000631

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University of Michigan

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