Introduction to the Drawing Data Sets
A key concept of materialism is that possessions of material goods is associated with qualitative attributes such as happiness and success. We therefore expected that a child would have different perceptions of a person having a lot of toys and a person not having a lot of toys. Similarly, it was expected that a young person would have different perceptions of a person having a lot of branded goods and a person not having a lot of branded goods.
To explore participants’ different perceptions of possessions, we conducted altogether four studies used a visual method. In each of these studies, a child or a youth participant was asked to draw two pictures, one representing a person with a lot of possessions and the other representing a personal without a lot of possessions.
The first study was conducted among 15 children aged six to 12 years in Beijing. They were studying in elementary school, grades 1 to 6. There were eight boys and seven girls. A female master’s degree student of Peking University assisted with the contacts with school and parents, and assisted in conducting the interviews. The study was conducted in three sessions in June 2004 in the classroom when the school day was over.
The second study was conducted in Hong Kong in October 2004. The participants were 42 grade 1-6 Chinese children recruited through personal sources. There were 20 boys and 22 girls, with 15, 13 and14 children in the age range of 6-8, 9-10 and 11-12, respectively. According to information from the interviewers, most of the participants came from lower to middle-income class. The study was conducted in Cantonese (a dialect spoken in Hong Kong). Undergraduate students of Hong Kong Baptist University were trained to understand the objectives of this study and how to conduct the interviews. The interviews were conducted in October 2004 at the participants’ homes, or at the interviewers’ homes.
The third study was conducted in Hong Kong in October 2005. The participants were 48 Chinese teenagers studying in forms one to seven of secondary schools (equivalent to US education system grade seven to 12 and ﬁrst year of university). Participants were recruited through personal sources. There were 15 males and 33 females. Twenty-two of them were aged 13 to 17 and the remaining 26 were aged 18 to 19. Undergraduate students of Hong Kong Baptist University were trained to understand the objectives of this study and how to conduct the interviews. The study was conducted at the participants’ homes, or at the interviewers’ homes. According to information from the interviewer, most of the participants came from lower to middle-income classes.
The fourth study was conducted in Macao in June 2008. A total of 12 participants with equal numbers of males and females from secondary school grade 1 and grade 5 participated in the study. Participants were recruited through schools with the help of a teacher. The interviews were conducted by us and a research assistant at the participants’ school after normal class sessions.
The first three studies are published and the published journal articles are listed below respectively:
- Chan, K. (2004) Material world: Attitudes towards toys in China, Young Consumers, 6(1), 54-65.
- Chan, K. (2006) Exploring children’s perception of material possessions: A drawing study, Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 9(4), 352-366.
- Chan, K. (2006) Young consumers and perception of brands in Hong Kong: A qualitative study, Journal of Product and Brand Management, 15(7), 416-426.