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Consumers' pursuit of material and experiential purchases

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More than 15 years ago, Van Boven and Gilovich (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 2003, 1193) presented evidence that experiential purchases make people happier than material purchases once consumers have covered their basic needs. This experiential advantage has attracted significant attention from researchers in the fields of social and consumer psychology. In this article, we review the literature on this subject. We first define the constructs of experiential and material purchases, and contrast them with previous, related constructs. We then identify and review the different mechanisms that appear to underlie the experiential advantage. Finally, we examine evidence of systematic differences in how people make decisions about material and experiential purchases, focusing on differences in how consumers process information and evaluate options prior to making a purchase.
Bibliographic citation: GILOVICH, T., GALLO, I. (2020). Consumers' pursuit of material and experiential purchases. A review. Consumer Psychology Review, 3 (1), 20-33. doi:10.1002/arcp.1053.

Reference: 10.1002/arcp.1053 (DOI)
Date: 01/08/2020
Author(s): Tom Gilovich; Íñigo Gallo;
Document type: Article in Journal (refereed)
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Languages: English