This study investigated the correlations between personality traits and adolescent materialism. It also measured the differences between the spending habits of materialists and non-materialists. A group of 48 high-school students completed a survey made up of three different components. The first measured how participants would spend a hypothetical $500 budget, the second measured their levels of materialism through the Youth Materialism Scale, and the final component measured their personality traits through the Big Five Inventory. A positive correlation was found between extroversion and materialism (r = 0.35, p = 0.0073), while no other traits correlated with materialism. This correlation is the opposite of other studies conducted with adults, where extroversion was negatively correlated with materialism. When comparing materialists and non- materialists, the main factor that influenced purchases was whether a person’s friends or peers purchased the item. This study also found that gender does not have an effect on levels of materialism. Lastly, more materialistic youth tended to spend more money on themselves versus non-materialists when given a hypothetical windfall of $500.
Received: April 25, 2016; Accepted: August 8, 2016; Published: February 19, 2017
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