The preference for experiences over possessions: Measurement and construct validation of the Experiential Buying Tendency Scale

Ryan T. Howell, Paulina Pchelin, Ravi Iyer
  • The Journal of Positive Psychology, January 2012, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/17439760.2011.626791

The Experiential Buying Tendency Scale

What is it about?

Psychologists have found that buying life experiences makes people happier than buying possessions, but who spends more of their spare cash on experiences? New findings published this week in the Journal of Positive Psychology reveal extraverts and people who are open to new experiences tend to spend more of their disposable income on experiences, such as concert tickets or a weekend away, rather than hitting the mall for material items.

Why is it important?

We know that being an 'experience shopper' is linked to greater well-being, but we wanted to find out why some people gravitate toward buying experiences. People who spent most of their disposable income on experiences scored highly on the "extravert" and "openness to new experience" scales. This personality profile makes sense since life experiences are inherently more social, and they also contain an element of risk.

The following have contributed to this page: Ryan Howell