Prior research has found a link between self-esteem and materialism. However, these studies examine explicit self-esteem without considering implicit self-esteem. We examine if these two forms of self-esteem jointly influence materialism. Specifically, we propose that discrepancies between implicit and explicit self-esteem are an important driver of materialism. Support for our view is presented in a series of four studies. Study 1 illustrates the link between self-esteem discrepancy and materialism. Studies 2 and 3 show that increases (decreases) in self-esteem discrepancies cause increases (decreases) in materialism. Study 4 confirms the link between self-esteem discrepancy and the desire to self-enhance through material possessions.
- Explicit self-esteem
- Implicit self-esteem