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Why do materialistic values undermine flow experiences? The role of self-regulatory resources
European Journal of Applied Positive Psychology, Volume: 5
Swansea University Author: Amy Isham
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© 2021. Amy Isham, Birgitta Gatersleben, & Tim Jackson. Published in European Journal of Applied Positive Psychology. This article is licensed under a CC BY 4.0 licenseDownload (1011.06KB)
Aims: Research has shown that the possession of materialistic values can lead individualsto be less likely to experience flow, an important component of well-being. In thisresearch, we test whether a lack of self-regulatory resources, and a tendency to use selfregulatory resources for avoidance purp...
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Aims: Research has shown that the possession of materialistic values can lead individualsto be less likely to experience flow, an important component of well-being. In thisresearch, we test whether a lack of self-regulatory resources, and a tendency to use selfregulatory resources for avoidance purposes, can mediate this relationship.Methods: A representative sample of 2000 adults in the UK completed an online survey.Results were analysed using structural equation modelling.Results: Materialistic values were related to a heightened tendency to dedicate selfregulatory resources towards the avoidance of negative states, which in turn was linked tolower levels of self-regulatory strength. Low levels of self-regulatory strength were relatedto a reduced tendency to experience flow.Discussion: The findings provide new insights surrounding the factors and processes thathinder and enhance the creation of flow experiences. In doing so, they suggest suitableroutes to promoting flow experiences in materialistic individuals, which in turn shouldimprove their well-being.Conclusions: Reducing the desire to avoid negative experiences could encourage flowexperiences by enhancing self-regulatory resources. Future research is needed to test thecausal nature of these relationships.
materialistic values, flow, self-regulation, experiential avoidance
Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
This work received financial support from the Economic and Social
Research Council (grant number: ES/M010163/1), who fund the
Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity.