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Living in a material world

Living in a material world

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Advertising is present in every aspect of our lives: it reaches and persuades consumers through different channels and media. Because advertisements are designed merely with the purpose of influencing our buying behavior, advertising is often pinpointed as the driving force behind creating (unrealistic) desires and luring people into consumption. Hence, the notion that advertising may trigger materialism seems quite obvious and intuitive. The extant evidence, however, is relatively scarce and mostly correlational, precluding causal interpretation. Therefore, this dissertation addresses the question of whether advertising has an effect on the adoption of material values. To this end I look at the concept of materialism from two perspectives. First, materialism is approached as an active construct and as a means to achieve a specific end. More specifically, I examine how materialism (in the form of attaining status goods to enhance one’s prestige) can be utilized to achieve one’s mating goal . Second, I focus on materialism as a passive construct and shed some light on how materialism can be driven or triggered by exposure to images from our environment.
The effects of advertising on materialism