Consumerism and Its Antisocial Effects Can Be Turned On and Off

MoneyVia ScienceDaily:

Money doesn’t buy happiness. Neither does materialism: Research shows that people who place a high value on wealth, status, and stuff are more depressed and anxious and less sociable than those who do not. Now new research shows that materialism is not just a personal problem. It’s also environmental. “We found that irrespective of personality, in situations that activate a consumer mindset, people show the same sorts of problematic patterns in wellbeing, including negative affect and social disengagement,” says Northwestern University psychologist Galen V. Bodenhausen.

The study, conducted with colleagues Monika A. Bauer, James E. B. Wilkie, and Jung K. Kim, appears in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

In two of four experiments, university students were put in a materialistic frame of mind by tasks that exposed them to images of luxury goods or words mobilizing consumerist values (versus neutral scenes devoid of consumer products or words without such connotations). Completing questionnaires afterwards, those who looked at the pictures of cars, electronics, and jewelry rated themselves higher in depression and anxiety, less interested in social activities like parties, and more in solitary pursuits than the others. Those primed to materialism by exposure to certain words evinced more competitiveness and less desire to invest their time in pro-social activities like working for a good cause…

More: ScienceDaily

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  • Brice Glase

    interesting, but (a) not exactly new and (b) not quite accurate.

    For decades, the psychologist Martin Seligman has researched “positive psychology.” He found that money CAN bring happiness, but only to a point. People who lived in poverty report a marked increase in happiness when they have money enough to be out of poverty. But beyond that point, money per se doesn’t buy happiness. People who are weatlhy and happy aren’t happy because they’re wealthy … they’re happy because they’re earning a living by doing something they’re passionate about.

    And such an observation is nothing new. Artistotle wrote about the phenomenon over 2000 years ago. He wrote: “The life of money-making is one undertaken under compulsion, and wealth
    is evidently not the good we are seeking; for it is merely useful and
    for the sake of something else.”

  • Okarin

    it happens to coincide with the t.v. switch

  • Limes

    this is def true and i suffer from it, and so do all the people around me.  

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    money itself
    creates consumerism, theft, hording, prostitution and greed
    as monkey studies with money has shown
    as usual
    humans overlook the effects of their technologies
    upon human consciousness
    the mediums are the massages
     

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