About Media Influence Studies
Materialistic values are frequently found in popular culture, the media, and advertisements. People exposed to materialistic models will be more likely to take on the materialistic values through modeling (Bandura, 1971) and internalization of these values (Ryan & Connell, 1989).
Celebrity worship has become common among young people around the world (Yue & Cheung, 2000) and may stem from a developmental need for identification and intimacy (Josselson, 1991). As adolescents transition to adulthood, celebrity attachments can facilitate the formation of a mature adult identity (Erikson, 1968) as well as influence consumer behavior.
Imitation of idols is measured by the responses to the following four statements:
- I want to be as smart and popular as well-known idols.
- I want to be as cool as people in ads.
- I want to look as trendy as those models in magazines.
- I do not aspire to the lifestyle of celebrities. (Reversely coded)
Social comparison with celebrities on consumption is measured by by the responses to the following two statements:
- I pay attention to my favorite stars and singers, to see what they buy or what brands they use.
- I pay attention to how movie and TV celebrities dress.
Another pervasive source of materialistic models is found in advertising messages. Advertisements encourage consumption by using images of attractive and/or famous product users, demonstrating social reward by using the products, and associating the products with wealthy lifestyles (Kasser el at., 2004). Moschis and Moore (1982) conceptualized advertising exposure according to both frequency of watching advertisements and reasons for watching.
Motivation for advertising viewing was measured by the responses to the following seven statements:
- I watch ads to learn about images of fashionable people.
- I watch ads to know what brand has the product features I need.
- I watch ads to know what I can buy to impress others.
- I watch ads to help me decide what things to buy.
- I watch ads to find out where I can buy some things I want.
- I watch ads to have something to talk about with others.
- I watch ads to learn about the "in"/trendy things.
- Bandura, A. (1971). Social learning theory. Morristown, NJ: General Learning Press.
- Erikson, E. H. (1968). Identity, youth, and crisis. New York, NY: Norton.
- Josselson, A. (1991). Finding herself: Pathways to identify development in women. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
- Kasser, T., Ryan, R. M., Couchman, C. E., & Sheldon, K. M. (2004). Materialistic values: Their causes and consequences. In T. Kasser & A. D. Kanner (Eds.), Psychology and Consumer Culture. Washington, D.C.: American Psychology Association.
- Moschis, G. P., & Moore, R. L. (1982). A longitudinal study of television advertising effects. Journal of Consumer Research, 9(December), 279-286.
- Ryan, R. M., & Connell, J. P. (1989). Perceived locus of causality and internalization: Examining reasons for acting in two domains. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 749-761.
- Yue, X. D., & Cheung, K. C. (2000). Selection of favorite idols and models among Chinese young people: A comparative study in Hong Kong and Nanjing. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 24(1), 91-98.