Journal of Happiness Studies, Vol. 21 (2020), s. 305–326
Although the negative link between materialism and well-being has been confirmed by
results from many empirical studies, mechanisms underlying this association still remain
partially unexplained. The issue is addressed in this article in two ways. Firstly, the nature
of the components of materialism is examined, and secondly—the article demonstrates that
personality (particularly neuroticism and narcissism) is one of the important factors linking
materialism and well-being. The article presents the results of three empirical studies,
in which three main assumptions were verified—that the components of materialism, i.e.
acquisition centrality, acquisition as a pursuit of happiness and possession-defined success,
have dissimilar impacts on well-being, that materialists with high and low levels of neuroticism
and narcissism differ with regard to well-being, and that neuroticism and narcissism
mediate the relationship between materialism and well-being. The studies were based on
self-reports and utilized well-known, established questionnaire measures of materialism,
personality and well-being. The results showed that each component of materialism was
associated with well-being in a slightly different way. Of the three possession-defined happiness
was the strongest predictor of all aspects of well-being examined and the centrality
component was not associated with any of them. Materialists with a high level of neuroticism
and low level of grandiose narcissism experienced diminished well-being in comparison
to materialism with a low level of neuroticism and high level of grandiose narcissism.
Neuroticism and grandiose narcissism were both significant mediators, acting contrary to
each other—neuroticism lowered well-being, whereas grandiose narcissism elevated it.