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Materialism and the Experience of Flow

Isham, Amy, Gatersleben, Birgitta and Jackson, Tim (2020) Materialism and the Experience of Flow Journal of Happiness Studies.

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The need to locate ways of living that can be both beneficial to personal well-being and ecologically sustainable is becoming increasingly important. Flow experiences show promise for the achievement of personal and ecological well-being. However, it is not yet understood how the materialistic values promoted by our consumer cultures may impact our ability to experience flow. A cross-sectional survey of 451 people demonstrated that materialistic values and an individual’s tendency to experience flow were negatively correlated (Study 1). Next we showed that experimentally priming a materialistic mind-set led to poorer quality flow experiences in a sample of students (Study 2) and British adults (Study 3). Our findings add to current understandings of the detrimental consequences of materialistic values and suggest that it is crucial to challenge the materialistic values present within our consumer societies if we are to provide opportunities for experiencing flow.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Date : 17 July 2020
Funders : Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
DOI : 10.1007/s10902-020-00294-w
Copyright Disclaimer : © The Author(s) 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Uncontrolled Keywords : Flow; Materialism; Well-being; Sustainability
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 05 Oct 2020 13:31
Last Modified : 05 Oct 2020 13:31

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