Why Materialism Fails to Make Us Happier

Owning more doesn't bring happiness: 'the material pursuit of self-esteem reduces self-esteem.' Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA
Owning more doesn’t bring happiness: ‘the material pursuit of self-esteem reduces self-esteem.’ Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

It’s no secret that gratitude makes us happier, while materialism can do the opposite. And now, a new study shows that lower levels of gratitude could be part of the reason for why materialistic people have decreased life satisfaction, and that gratitude could actually mediate the relationship between materialism and life satisfaction.

“As we amass more and more possessions, we don’t get any happier — we simply raise our reference point,” study researcher James Roberts, Ph.D., of the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University, said in a statement. “That new 2,500-square-foot house becomes the baseline for your desires for an even bigger house. It’s called the Treadmill of Consumption. We continue to purchase more and more stuff but we don’t get any closer to happiness, we simply speed up the treadmill.”

The study, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, is based on survey results from 246 college students.

The students answered questions indicating their levels of materialism, gratitude, life satisfaction and need satisfaction (referring to psychological needs, such as autonomy, relatedness and competence).

Researchers found an association between materialism and decreased well-being. “A considerable proportion of the relationship between materialism and decreased life satisfaction can be explained by the decreased gratitude that high materialists experience, and the resultant decreases in basic psychological needs,” the researchers wrote in the study.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: The Huffington Post

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