And as with most things, everyone’s level of materialism differs. When it comes to materialism, however, research shows that men are significantly more materialistic than their female counterparts (to which evolutionary psychologist would answer: it's because they have to generate sufficient wealth to attract women! The fact that personality, especially the biologically-based trait of Neuroticism, affects materialism, suggests that materialism may have a genetic or hereditary basis, but are some just destined to become more materialistic? Think of the stereotypical “rich kids” and you will find mostly spoiled brats but sometimes the differences between siblings, even identical twins, can be remarkable.Furthermore, research suggests that it is those who grew up in an environment of economic hardship who end up being more materialistic.The valuation of domiannce based on money is manifested as status-seeking.
These days you’d be hard pressed to find someone who is opposed to the view that we are living in an increasingly materialistic world. A lot of evidence suggest that those with a greater disposition to be affected by their emotions - so, high Neuroticism scorers - display greater levels of materialism than those who are more emotionally stable.
Every day, there’s a new must-have item, with people going to ever increasing lengths to get their hands on them, no better typified than the long queues of camped out punters eager to get their hands on the new i Phone 4 released not too long ago. Men will argue to great length about how women’s materialistic tendencies are much greater than those of men, citing the commonly held notion that women tend to look for partners that have significant wealth (the evolutionary psychology argument, and there is compelling data on this). As always, Neuroticism seems detrimental then, though let's not forget that materialism can have positive consequences, particularly if care about material things!