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Anti-consumption and materialism in consumer behaviour: a value orientation perspective

Khan, Sadia Yaqub 2017. Anti-consumption and materialism in consumer behaviour: a value orientation perspective. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Starting from the premise that both anti-consumption and materialism are prevalent concepts in developed economies, this study firstly empirically explores if anti-consumption attitudes and materialistic attitudes are opposite to each other. Secondly, it examines how consumers in developed countries, such as the United Kingdom, find a balance between these contradictory attitudes, and if this balance could be used to classify these consumers into unique and distinct segments. A theoretical framework is proposed based on the literature from anti-consumption, materialism, values, environmental consciousness, authenticity and wellbeing. Subsequently, correlations and regressions are conducted on survey data (N=288) from British consumers, to explore if values, environmental consciousness, authenticity and wellbeing have an inverse relationship with anti-consumption attitudes compared to materialistic attitudes. This is done to empirically assess whether the anti-consumption attitude is in fact opposite to materialistic attitude. Next, cluster analysis, using the two attitudes, was conducted on the data in order to explore if contemporary consumers hold different combinations of anti-consumption attitudes and materialistic attitudes and to see if these combinations could be used to classify consumers into a typology with different segments. Additionally, One-way ANOVA, post- hoc tests, discriminant analysis and chi2 tests were employed to rigorously validate this typology of consumers. Value orientations, environmental consciousness, wellbeing, authenticity, age and education are used as external variables for the validation of the typology. The thesis principally concludes the following: 1) anti-consumption and materialistic attitudes are opposite to each other as a) values that act as antecedents of anti-consumption attitude are opposite to values that act as antecedents of materialistic attitude,:b) environmental consciousness is a positive predictor of anti-consumption attitude and a negative predictor of materialistic attitude and, :c) the relationship of values, environmental consciousness, authenticity and wellbeing with anti-consumption attitude is opposite to that of materialistic attitude; 2) contemporary consumers can be classified into four unique segments in terms of the specific balance they acquire between their anti-consumption and materialistic attitudes. These segments are labelled as anti-consumers, materialistic consumers, dualistic consumers and disinterested consumers. The four groups in the typology exhibit different psychographic and demographic profiles according to the specific combination of anti-consumption and materialistic attitudes that they exhibit. The findings from this thesis provide empirical support to the notion that anti-consumption is opposite to materialism, thereby responding to the call for empirical research (Lee and Ahn, 2016). More importantly, the development and validation of a typology of contemporary consumers in this thesis brings new understanding of consumers in the 21st century, thus adding to the existing knowledge in consumer behaviour and marketing. Marketers can benefit from the findings of this study as they can develop strategies for each segment in order to cater to their specific needs. Policy-makers striving to attain sustainability can benefit from this knowledge as they can determine which values to promote so as to sway people to consume in a sustainable way.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Uncontrolled Keywords: Anti-consumption, materialism, attitudes, sustainability, consumer typology
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 1 March 2017
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2020 02:44

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