Drawing on previous theorizing about the development of materialistic values, a model of motivated cognition is proposed to account for the positive association between self-monitoring and materialism. The model suggests that self-monitoring is associated with individual differences in belonging motivation, that belonging motivation shapes people's beliefs about buying as a means of belonging within valued groups, and that buying-is-for-belonging beliefs shape the degree to which people value wealth and luxury. Results from two studies supported this model and suggested that the self-monitoring results are not better attributed to extraversion, social self-confidence, or shyness. The proposed model emphasizes that traits associated with a strong need to belong may predispose people toward materialism. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.