Academic journal article Management & Marketing

A Study of Interaction of Materialism and Money Attitude and Its Impact on Car Purchase

Academic journal article Management & Marketing

A Study of Interaction of Materialism and Money Attitude and Its Impact on Car Purchase

Article excerpt

Introduction

India is experiencing a sweeping transformation compelled by macroeconomic changes and reconstruction of society (Rao et al., 2013). Money and material things are gradually taking up vanguard position in individual's life, particularly among urban population. The pleasure seeking and self-gratification standards of the West have started flourishing in India (Cleveland et al., 2009; Suchday, 2015). This has led to increase in consumption of luxurious and consumer durable goods (Mishra et. al. 2014). The car is a consumer durable product that serves the purpose of transportation and at the same time it is a symbol of prestige in a developing country like India. Purchasing and owning a car has become indispensable in metropolitans not only due to the lack of availability of public transport, but also because people are becoming accustomed to more comfortable living. The car is a mean of transportation, classified as luxury durable goods (Kaushal, 2014; Shende, 2014). Recently, the increasing population and disposable income of Indian population has been rising impetuously along with the national demand for cars. It makes it essential to understand how the materialistic values adopted from the West and money related attitudes of people in the National Capital Region of India, work together to influence the demand for cars.

There are few studies that underline the interconnection or association of money attitude and materialism in Indian context (e.g., Mishra et al., 2014; Khare, 2014). This study fills the gap by analyzing the interconnection of these two variables of consumer behavior and its influence on choosing the price range of cars. This study underlines the blend between consumer behavior reflected from one's level of materialism and money psychology as reflected by one's attitude towards money (Liao and Wang, 2008). The aim of the present research is to understand the behavioral changes related to money and material of the population residing in National Capital Region and how these behaviors have an effect on the car purchase attitude.

In the present study, we have attempted to build up a theoretical framework of materialism and money attitude based on the modified versions of their existing standardized scales. The materialism scale (with sub-dimensions material significance, material individuality and material satisfaction) along with the money attitude scale (with sub-dimensions power-prestige, retention time, distrust, quality and anxiety) has been used to measure materialism and money attitude. The demographic information on age, gender, and income was also gathered for testing association and analyses. The context of car purchase behavior has been incorporated through judgment sampling#. The data has been collected through self-administered questionnaire from individuals who have purchased cars during the last six months and the information regarding car price range has been extracted from the questionnaire.

Theoretical Assessment

Materialism refers to the importance of worldly possessions in one's life (Belk, 1984; Richins and Dawson, 1992). Materialism is an important concept that has been studied in consumer behavior extensively; mainly, in terms of personality trait and value. As a personality trait, materialism reflects possessiveness, non-generosity, and envy (Belk, 1984; Ger and Belk, 1996) and as a value, materialism demonstrates success, acquisition centrality, and happiness (Richins, 2004). Materialism is absolute when it gives direct satisfaction to the one who is under the influence of materialistic tendencies, purchasing or consuming the material product (Hsee et al., 2009). Materialistic people use their possessions to reflect their identity (Manchiraju, 2013; Wong et al., 2011). They brag about their possessions in an attempt to build up eminence in society (Dittmar and Drury, 2000; Dittmar and Pepper, 1994; James, 1890). Thus, materialistic persons purchase expensive goods to improve their self-image (Richins, 2004; Troisi, 2006; Watson, 2003). …

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