Materialism as an attempt to cope with uncertainty
Three studies tested the hypothesis that people may turn to materialism when they face uncertainties in modern life. Study 1 showed that anomie and self-doubt are significant predictors of materialistic orientations; other plausible antecedents have less predictive value. In Study 2, participants experiencing chronic self-doubt showed a higher level of materialism if they were primed to experience doubt and insecurity. In Study 3, participants with chronic perceptions of anomie showed a higher level of materialism if they were primed with the concept of normlessness. Together, these three studies show that some people turn to materialism when they experience uncertainty within the self (self-doubt) or perceive uncertainty relating to society (anomie). © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.