“Keeping the Dream of Prosperity Alive: The Interactive Effect of Perceived Economic Mobility and Materialism on Impulsive Spending” by Ms. Sunyee YOON
Ms. Sunyee YOON
Department of Consumer Science
School of Human Ecology
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Wide-spread materialism is closely linked to impulsive spending, which leads to a host of negative personal and socioeconomic consequences. Using various data sources, five studies provide converging evidence for an interactive effect of perceived economic mobility and materialism on impulsive spending. In particular, this research shows that materialistic consumers are less (more) likely to engage in impulsive spending when they perceive high (low) economic mobility. However, this interactive effect reverses when the purchase is a means to achieve financial success. We trace this effect to a shift in materialistic consumers’ self-regulation, such that they focus on the short-term enjoyment of spending under low perceived economic mobility but regulate their behavior toward long-term success under high perceived economic mobility. By elucidating the important role that perceived economic mobility plays on materialistic consumers’ impulsive spending, the current research sheds an important light on consumer research, and offers managerial and public policy implications.