Date of Award

12-2009

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Nasco, Suzanne

Second Advisor

Weston, Rebecca

Abstract

Past research has indicated that the visual presence of credit card images and monetary primes has an impact on an individual's actions. Feinburg (1986) reported that the magnitude and probability of spending were increased in the presence of credit card stimuli, and Vohs et al.'s (2006) series of studies demonstrated that exposed to monetary images, individuals became more self-sufficient and less willing to help others. The present study examined influence of money primes on materialism, consumer purchase intentions, and consumer attitudes. Materialism, was measured by the Richins and Dawson (1992) Material Values Scale (MVS), and was treated as both an independent variable. Consumer purchase intentions and behaviors were assessed using Attitude Toward the Ad (Henthorne, Tony, LaTour, & Nataraajan, 1993), Willingness to Buy (Dodds, Monroe, & Grewal, 1991), Willingness to Pay (Fienburg, 1986), and Attitude Toward the Brand in the Ad (Gardner, 1985). In addition, participants completed the Credit Card Use Scale (Roberts & Jones, 2001), and the Conformity Motivation Scale (Kahle). A total of 172 participants, enrolled in both undergraduate and graduate courses at SIUC, completed a two-part internet survey for extra credit. Results indicated that materialism levels were not increased when exposed to money primes (credit card and money symbols) when compared to the control group, rather the study found a significant decrease in materialism in the unhypothesized direction. In addition, the findings were unsupportive of the hypothesis that the inclusion of money primes (either credit card stimuli or monetary images) would increase an ii individual's purchase intentions and behaviors. Finally, an examination of the moderating effect of materialism produced non-significant findings, when comparing the influence of money primes between high and low materialism levels taken prior to the study's manipulations.

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