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Miriam Tatzel
Professor of Psychology


  • Consumer Psychology
  • Consumer Well-Being
  • Money and Materialism Consumer Typology
  • Positive Psychology


Miriam Tatzel’s research focuses on psychological aspects of money and materialism in relation to consumer lifestyles and well-being. She proposes a consumer typology: that those who are tight with money and materialistic are Value Seekers; those who are loose with money and materialistic are Big Spenders; those who are tight with money and not materialistic are Non-Spenders; and those who are loose with money and not materialistic are Experiencers. Some of her research differentiates the types with regard to credit card use, saving, price awareness, and how much we spend and what we spend it on (e.g., objects vs. experiences). She places her theory and research in the larger contexts of self-concept and well-being.

Tatzel earned her Ph.D. from Columbia University, Graduate Faculties, Department of Social Psychology, and her B.S. in Psychology from Queens College of the City University of New York. Prior to coming to Empire State College she was a professor at Hunter College, CUNY.

Recent paper:

Tatzel, M. (2008). Money and materialism typology, self-construal and well-being. Presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Boston.

Tatzel, M. (2003b). The art of buying: Coming to terms with money and materialism. Journal of Happiness Studies, 4(4), 405-435.

Tatzel, M. (2003a). [Review of Sirgy, J. M. (2001), Quality of life research: An ethical marketing perspective]. Journal of Happiness Studies, 4(2), 235 – 239.

Tatzel, M. (2002). “Money worlds” and well-being: An integration of money dispositions, materialism and price-related behavior. Journal of Economic Psychology, 23(1), 103-126.

Tatzel, M. (2002, November). Educational planning in the first learning contract: Is it a good idea? Institutional research reported in All About Mentoring, 24, 57-58.

Tatzel, M. (2001). “Money worlds” and consumer well-being. An integration of money dispositions, materialism and spending. In H. E. Spotts, H. L. Meadow & S. Grzeskowiak (Eds.), How to measure quality of life in diverse populations: Procedings of the fourth conference of the International Society of Quality-of-Life Studies. (pp. 84-85). ISQOLS.

Photo of Miriam Tatzel
Miriam Tatzel


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SUNY Empire State College
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