Items and dimensions of the material self (5-point disagree-agree responses)

Material self-projection

  • I choose products and brands that will make others evaluate me favorably as a person. I like to own things that impress others*
  • I tend to buy things that influence other people’s favorable opinion of me.
  • I care about what my material possessions signal to others. 

Materialistic evaluation of others

  • I tend to evaluate others by the things they own.
  • I admire people who own expensive homes, cars, and clothes*
  • I like to associate with people who have an expensive lifestyle.
  • I value the material objects other people own. 

Emotional self-assurance

  • Sometimes I buy things because it helps me overcome negative feelings (sadness, anxiety, frustration).
  • Shopping and buying things make me feel good (happy, joyful, proud). 
  • Shopping and buying things are fun for me.
  • I love to buy and own things.


  • I have worked hard to get where I am and am entitled to the “good things in life.” 
  • I think that there is nothing wrong with enjoying the fruits of your labor if you can. 
  • I deserve to buy things to pamper myself.
  • I deserve to splurge on myself every now and then.

*Items from Richins & Dawson’s scale

Source: R.P. Bagozzi, A.A. Ruvio and C. Xie, “The material self”, International Journal of Research in Marketing, 37.