" Materialism Scales (Belk 1984, 1985) - Statswork"

Materialism Scales (Belk 1984, 1985)


Belk defines materialism as the importance a consumer accords to worldly possessions. At the highest level of materialism, such possessions assume a central place in a person’s life and are believed to provide the greatest sources of satisfaction and dissatisfaction.


There are three components to materialism scales, mentioned as under:-

  • Possesiveness
  • Non-generosity
  • Envy


The Belk materialism scale is composed of 24 statements designed to measure the three components. The items are scored on a 5 point Likert scale from agree to disagree. Item scores are summed within each component to form an overall score for each component.


A number of reliability and validity estimates are reported for the scales. In the study by Belk, coefficient alpha estimates for possessiveness, non-generosity and envy subscales were .68, .72 and .80 respectively for a student sample (n = 237). The overall summed scale (24 items) had an alpha of .73. For the larger sample (n = 338(, these estimates were .57 for possessiveness, .58 for non-generosity, .64 for envy and .66 for the overall summed 24 item scale.


Belk, R.W. (1985), “Materialism: Trait aspects of living in the material world”, Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 12, No. 3, pp. 265-280

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