Perception of possessions and personality traits among urban children

Kara Chan, Fan Hu

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

This study attempts to measure how children in urban China perceive the link between material possessions and personality. Two hundred and sixty-eight children in urban China aged 9 to 14 saw pictures of a child (a boy or a girl) described as one who has or has not a lot of new and expensive toys. They then evaluated the child’s type of possessions and personality traits. They also reported which child they want to be. Respondents perceived the child with a lot of toys and the child without toys differed in their types of possessions. The child with a lot of toys was perceived to be more likely to have branded toys and new media. Respondents on the other hand perceived a child without many toys have books and sports equipment. Respondents perceived a child with a lot of toys happy, having a lot of friends, smart but spending money irresponsibly. Respondents perceive this child hardworking, with good academic results, smart, happy and with lots of friends. Evidence supported that older respondents had more favourable perceptions toward a child with many toys than younger respondents. Forty percent of respondents wanted to be a child without toys. The study has the limitations that the sample came from lower social class and may have an inclination to attribute positive qualities to a child without a lot of toys.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007
EventBritish Psychological Society Social Psychology Section Conference - Kent, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Sep 20077 Sep 2007

Conference

ConferenceBritish Psychological Society Social Psychology Section Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityKent
Period5/09/077/09/07

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