Materialism is detrimental to academic engagement: Evidence from self-report surveys and linguistic analysis

  • Ronnel B. King


Extensive research has shown that materialism is detrimental for one’s well-being. However, little is known about how materialism is associated with learning-related outcomes. In Study 1 (n = 466), we conducted a survey study and found that students who scored high in materialism had lower levels of academic engagement. In Study 2 (n = 59), we used the Linguistic Inquiry Word Count (LIWC) and found that students who wrote more about monetary concerns scored lower in terms of academic engagement. Results of the cross-sectional survey (Study 1) and the linguistic analysis (Study 2) provided converging evidence that materialism is negatively associated with academic engagement. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.


Materialism Engagement Learning LIWC Linguistic analysis 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

All the participants in this study gave their informed consent.

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Curriculum and InstructionThe Education University of Hong KongTai PoHong Kong

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