Optimizing Financial Education Utilization


Psychological Needs and the Desire for Unique Consumer Products across Gender and Socioeconomic Status in Undergraduate Students

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



financial behavior, gender, socioeconomic status


The objective of this study is to observe whether there is a relationship between psychological needs, desire for unique consumer products and self-attributed need for uniqueness in girls and boys from different socioeconomic statuses. A purposive sampling technique was employed to select 404 undergraduate college students, aged between 17 and 22 years, belonging to different socio-economic backgrounds. The present study used the Balanced Measure of Psychological Needs Scale (Sheldon, 2012), the Desire for Unique Consumer Products Scale (Lynn & Harris, 1997), and the Self-Attributed Need for Uniqueness Scale (Lynn & Harris, 1997). The study found no significant differences in psychological needs, self-attributed need for uniqueness and desire for unique consumer products between undergraduate boys and girls with different socioeconomic status. Relatedness, competence, autonomy, self-attributed need for uniqueness and desire for unique consumer products were found to be positively correlated among students from different SES (p<0.05). Results like these suggest that irrespective of buying power, there is a tendency among undergraduate students to view unique products as value additions to their social standing in comparison to their peers. The degree to which psychological needs exist in various cultural contexts and how they combine to drive uniqueness may be further examined. This may provide insight not only into differentiation itself but also the communication of identity across cultures and the integration of multiple needs more broadly.