When having is not enough: implications of being satisfied

Jing Yang Zhong (Department of Management, University of Exeter Business School, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK)
Vincent-Wayne Mitchell (Faculty of Management, Cass Business School, London, UK)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Publication date: 11 November 2013



While having “more” in life seems to have a positive impact on consumers' well-being, the role of how satisfied consumers need to be with this “more” before it is able to enhance their well-being is not clear. This study aims to examine an integrated model of the mediating effect of satisfaction on the relationship between objective life circumstances and subjective well-being.


The new model proposed is tested by using data obtained from British Household Panel Survey. A fixed-effects econometric model is estimated using Stata 10 to identify the mediating effect of satisfaction with life circumstances on the relationship between life circumstances and well-being.


The results show that objective circumstances affect well-being primarily through the mediating effect of satisfaction with corresponding life domains irrespective of the level of objective circumstances. However, this mediating effect varies by life domain and cannot be generalized.

Practical implications

The implications for public policy makers are that intervention policies that improve the three life domains of health, leisure and housing will effectively enhance consumers' well-being. Meanwhile, government should also allocate more resources to increase consumers' positive thinking to help them to improve their well-being.


This is the first study to examine the mediating effect of subjective satisfaction on the effect of objective circumstances on well-being across six life domains.



Yang Zhong, J. and Mitchell, V. (2013), "When having is not enough: implications of being satisfied", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 47 No. 11/12, pp. 1975-2001. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-10-2011-0585

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