Experientialism, Materialism, and the Pursuit of Happiness
Review of General Psychology, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 132-142, 2005
11 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2010
Date Written: 2005
Previous research indicates that materialistic aspirations are negatively associated with happiness and psychological health. Recent research extends these findings by demonstrating that allocating discretionary resources toward life experiences makes people happier than allocating discretionary resources toward material possessions. Respondents to various surveys have indicated that purchases made with the intention of acquiring life experiences make them happier than purchases made with the intention of acquiring material possessions. Thinking about experiential purchases has also been shown to produce more positive feelings than thinking about material purchases. Other studies suggest that experiential purchases make people happier because they are more open to positive reinterpretations, are more resistant to disadvantageous comparisons, and foster successful social relationships more than material purchases.
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