From experiential psychology to consumer experience

Bernd H. Schmitt, J. Joško Brakus, Lia Zarantonello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We comment on Gilovich and colleagues' program of research on happiness resulting from experiential versus material purchases, and critique these authors' interpretation that people derive more happiness from experiences than from material possessions. Unlike goods, experiences cannot be purchased, and possessions versus experiences do not seem to form the endpoints of the same continuum. As an alternative, we present a consumer-experience model that views materialism and experientialism as two separate dimensions whose effects on consumer happiness, both in the form of pleasure and in the form of meaning, depend on the type of brand experiences evoked. Thus, a good life in a consumerist society means integrating material and experiential consumptions rather than shifting spending from material to experiential purchases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-171
JournalJournal of Consumer Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Experiential Psychology
  • Coonsumer Experience
  • Materialism
  • Experientialism

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