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EMAC 2023 Regional Conference

Relationship between Materialism and Pro-Environmental Behavior: a Systematic Literature Review

Published: November 22, 2023


Linas Pupelis, Kaunas University of Technology; Beata Å einauskienÄ—, Kaunas University of Technology


The growing concern about climate change highlights the importance of self-interested values such as materialism, which has long been a driving force behind economic growth. Hurst et al. (2013)'s meta-analysis of papers from 1992 to 2010 was the first to synthesize studies on the relationship between materialism and pro-environmental outcomes. The current developments in pro-environmental policies necessitate a renewed synthesis of materialism in relation to environmental outcomes. The sample of 79 studies was used by applying the 'Scientific procedures and rationales for systematic literature reviews' (SPAR-4-SLR) approach in reviewing articles published between 2011 and 2022. We performed (a) a bibliometric analysis, (b) a qualitative analysis of sample articles, and (c) identified emerging themes. While most studies report a negative relationship between materialism and pro-environmental behavior, the number of studies reporting a non-significant or positive relationship is growing. This paves the way for new theoretical explanations for the coexistence of two previously considered opposing orientations.