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The scales you completed were the Experience in Purchasing Behavior Scale developed by Ryan Howell and a set of related questions developed by Ravi Iyer.

The scales measure four separate constructs. The first scale measures how much you purchase experiences versus material things . Some research has shown that people who purchase experiences, such as dinner at a nice restaurant, are happier than people who purchase material goods. However, this may only be true for people who value stimulation and self-direction, as opposed to security.

People may perceive the same object or experience as more experiential or more material. Two related scales that you took measure how much you are likely to think of an experience as something that can be turned into a material object (via souvenirs or photographs) and how likely you are to think of a material object as something that leads to an experience (Perceiving Objects as Experiential). For example, some people may feel that collecting souvenirs or taking photographs gives them some tangible good related to a positive experience. Some people may feel that their material goods solely exist to be experienced, while others may think of those same goods as simple posessions. We are interested in how one's values shape one's perceptions of goods and experiences. Finally, another set of questions related to whether you prefer to rent or own a home. We believe that experiential purchasers may value owning a home less.

The idea behind the scale is that people's values may be related to what they purchase. For example, someone who is thrifty may value security while someone who spends a lot on experiences may value stimulation. We are interested in exploring the relationship between values and spending behavior. Choices about what to spend money on are indicative of what one values in life. In addition, we are interested in differences in approaches to spending between liberals and conservatives, and whether these differing approaches are indicative of underlying value differences.

In addition, we feel that many objects and experiences can be thought of as things to be posessed or as things to be experienced. The way people relate to the same objects or experiences in their life likely relates to their self-reported purchasing style. A person who wants to buy experiences is more likely to think of a television as something that brings them experiences whereas a person who often buys possessions is more likely to think of a television as a posession. A person who tends to buy posessions may also seek to turn experiences into posessions via photographs and may also be more likely to want to own their home rather than rent. We hope to examine both the consequences of experiential purchasing and the values which lead people to become experiential purchasers.

Do you have ideas on improving this study? Or did you encounter any difficulties in answering the questions? Click here to send a message to the creators of this study.

The graph below shows your values on these scales with your score (in green) compared to those of the average Liberal (in blue) and the average Conservative (in red) visitor to this website.


You are a member of the group:LessWrong and those results are shown with the Grey bar.






To learn more about experiential purchasing, you can read this CNN article.


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