Association of Marketing Theory and Practice Proceedings 2011


Changes in Student Consumer Behavior and Materialism During a Recession

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Conference Track

Marketing Research/ Demographics/ Consumer Behavior

Publication Date



Terror Management Theory (TMT) would predict increased materialism and an increased “urge to splurge” with increasing threat to self esteem. An economic recession of the size seen in 2008-9 might be enough to trigger such reactions. To test this, data were acquired from students just prior to the onset of the recession in 2008 and again a year later at the lowest point of the recession. As predicted by TMT, materialism was seen to increase, but only on the success dimension. Contrary to TMT, frugality did not decrease.

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