When consumers have disposable income they may decide to spend a portion of it on experiences or goods that they enjoy. Previous research has suggested that given the choice between purchasing an experience, or a material possession, the experience in the better choice. A new study suggests that while the experience may be the better choice, this is not absolutely true in all cases.
Some people enjoy collecting experiences, while others enjoy collecting things. The people who like to invest in material possessions are normally more materialistic. The results of the purchase also come into play. An experience that is disappointing causes more unhappiness that a possession that is not everything desired.
Some people may spend their discretionary budget on things to bring a feeling of happiness while others may decide in invest in experiences or in material goods. Many people will choose experiences, such as travel or vacations. Other people will find more joy in purchasing material goods.
There is no right or wrong answer to the question about whether to choose experiences or material items. The choice depends up on the person making the decision. Whether you will choose an experience or a material item depend upon many factors, including how materialistic you are.
Research published in the Journal of Consumer Research states there are many factors, including how materialistic you are. A statement was made by the study authors, Leonardo Nicolao and Julie R. Irwin of University of Texas at Austin and Joseph K. Goodman of Washington University in S. Louis. The researchers stated that the answer in more complicated than they through it was previously.
Early opinions were that spending money on experiences opposed to material purchases is generally more positive. Experiences may include things like vacations, theatre and concerts. Material purchases may include items, like bigger houses, fancy care and gadgets.
Whether or not a purchase can bring happiness depends, in part, how well the purchase turns out. If a vacation turns out badly it will bring more unhappiness than a material purchase that is disappointing.
People who are choosing to purchase experiences should be cautious because a negative choice may lead to lasting unhappiness. A material purchase that does not turn out well is less damaging.
Conventional wisdom, from previous research has suggested that money is well spent on experiences like vacations and entertainment over comparable priced trinkets and objects. Assuming that the purchse turns out well, the experience will probably bring more happiness than the material product. Researchers in this study concurred that this is generally true, but not for all people. Some people will enjoy a material item while others ill prefer the experience.
University of Chicago Press Journals: Do experiences or material goods make up happier? Press release dated February 23, 2009, EurekAlert.
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