Materialism: The road to happiness and life satisfaction among Singaporeans

Volume 3 - Issue 1
Jasdeep Kaur Sidhu Koong Hean Foo
Pages: 77-92 Download Count : 9680 View Count: 8707 Facebook Share on Google+ Save to Zotero Save to Mendeley


Overseas research studies suggest that shopping can be utilised to establish individual identity and accord social recognition. In Singapore, shopping, an activity associated with materialism, is called a national pastime. Yet, only a handful of research studies have deliberated the roles of happiness and materialism in achieving life satisfaction compared to countries in the west. This study investigated whether materialism and happiness aid life satisfaction in Singapore. A New Materialism Scale was utilised to conduct a more holistic understanding of materialism, as scales utilised in earlier studies have not successfully explained consumer behaviour in recent years. For this study, 128 Singaporean undergraduates (69.5% female; 30.5% male) with a mean age of 21.82 years (SD= 2.17; age range 18-30), enrolled in the Psychology and Business programs at James Cook University, Singapore, were recruited. Results suggest that students between 18 and 30 relate material distinctiveness positively to life satisfaction; male respondents are as equally materialistic as female respondents; material success is most associated with Chinese students; material distinctiveness is linked to Indian students, while happiness levels moderate materialism levels and life satisfaction. An important implication of this study is the finding that there exists more to materialism in relation to life satisfaction and happiness among Singaporeans.


  • Materialism
  • happiness
  • life satisfaction
  • Singapore
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