Why we are so materialistic, even though it doesn’t make us happy

materialism

Source: http://bit.ly/18DYDi2

Noteworthy quotes:

True and lasting happiness do not lie in acquisition:

“”Thinking about acquisition provides momentary happiness boosts to materialistic people, and because they tend to think about acquisition a lot, such thoughts have the potential to provide frequent mood boosts,” Richins wrote, “but the positive emotions associated with acquisition are short-lived. Although materialists still experience positive emotions after making a purchase, these emotions are less intense than before they actually acquire a product.” – by The Atlantic

Non-materialistic individuals enjoy a higher quality of life:

“Existing scientific research on the value of materialism yields clear and consistent findings. People who are highly focused on materialistic values have lower personal well-being and psychological health than those who believe that materialistic pursuits are relatively unimportant. These relationships have been documented in sample of people ranging from wealthy to poor, from teenagers to the elderly, and from Australians to South Koreans. Several investigators have reported similar results using a variety of ways of measuring materialism. The studies document that strong materialist values are associated with pervasive undermining of people’s well-being, from low life satisfaction to happiness, to depression and anxiety, to physical problems such as headaches, and to personality disorders, narcissistic, and antisocial behaviors.” – by Tuft University

Experience enhances happiness level better than acquisition:

“Another paper, published in Psychological Science, found that people in a controlled experiment who were repeatedly exposed to images of luxury goods, to messages that cast them as consumers rather than citizens and to words associated with materialism (such as buy, status, asset and expensive), experienced immediate but temporary increases in material aspirations, anxiety and depression. They also became more competitive and more selfish, had a reduced sense of social responsibility and were less inclined to join in demanding social activities. The researchers point out that, as we are repeatedly bombarded with such images through advertisements, and constantly described by the media as consumers, these temporary effects could be triggered more or less continuously.” – by The Guardian

Travelling may well be one of the best boosters of happiness

“(Researchers) have found that our types of purchases, their size and frequency, and even the timing of the spending all affect long-term happiness. One major finding is that spending money for an experience—concert tickets, French lessons, sushi-rolling classes, a hotel room in Monaco—produces longer-lasting satisfaction than spending money on plain old stuff.

“It’s better to go on a vacation than buy a new couch’ is basically the idea,” says Professor Dunn, summing up research by two fellow psychologists, Leaf Van Boven and Thomas Gilovich.

…Thomas DeLeire, an associate professor of public affairs, population, health and economics at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, recently published research examining nine major categories of consumption. He discovered that the only category to be positively related to happiness was leisure: vacations, entertainment, sports and equipment like golf clubs and fishing poles.” by The New York Times

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