Background: Materialism indicates the extent to which an individual’s life is focused on consumerism, or the acquisition of money and possessions. The Material Values Scale (MVS), comprising the factors “success,” “centrality,” and “happiness,” is a well-known rating scale for materialism. However, a Japanese version of the materialism scale has not yet been established, and the details of the factors and effects related to materialism have not yet been clarified in Japan. The purpose of this study is to develop and evaluate the Japanese version of the MVS (J-MVS). Methods: We developed the translated J-MVS using a back-translation process. To validate and evaluate the scale based on an online survey, we recruited 500 people, with 100 participants (50 men, 50 women) in five age groups, from 20 to 69 years. We compared and evaluated several factor structure models based on exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. To evaluate the external criterion-referenced validity of the developed J-MVS scale, we examined the relationship between age, personality, and well-being, which have shown stable relationships with materialism in previous studies. Results: We developed two six-item dual-factor models. Both models showed significant positive correlations with social comparison orientation and neuroticism, and had significant negative correlations with various subjective well-being indices, suggesting sufficient external criterion-referenced validity. The J-MVS comprising six positive-worded items (J-MVS-P6; without any reverse-worded items) showed a higher correlation with other indicators than the version comprising six items representing all item types and was considered to have higher external criterion-referenced validity. Conclusions: We propose the J-MVS-P6 for use as a materialism scale in Japan. Compared with the findings from other countries, materialism in Japan may be more closely related to subjective well-being. This scale may be used to examine the effectiveness of various intervention methods for improving individuals’ happiness, based on changes in factors closely related to materialism in Japan.
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