"Money Worlds" and Wellbeing: An Empirical Test of Tatzel's Model of Consumption

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Marketing and Fashion Merchandising


Tatzel proposed a theory of money worlds and wellbeing comprised of four prototypical consumer patterns based on whether consumers are high/low on materialism and simultaneously tight or loose with money. Tatzel proposes that the four prototypes (value-seekers, non-spenders, big-spenders, and experiencers) differ strikingly along many values, attitudes, and behaviors. This study uses data from 1,016 U.S. student consumers to test empirically the typology and differences. A cluster analysis confirmed that a four-cluster solution best represented the data, supporting Tatzel's model. Subsequent ANOVAs showed that two of the four groups differed predictably in the hypothesized directions. Significant differences between big-spenders and non-spenders appeared in levels of price sensitivity, status consumption, generosity, brand engagement, worry about debt, and spending. The other two groups, value-seekers and experiencers, fell between them. The findings partially confirm Tatzel's theory and suggest that “money worlds” are one way of conceptualizing consumer culture.

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Multifaceted Explorations of Consumer Culture and Its Impact on Individuals and Society

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