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

See all articles by Leaf Van Boven

Leaf Van Boven

University of Colorado Boulder

Date Written: 2005

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Van Boven, Leaf, Experientialism, Materialism, and the Pursuit of Happiness (2005). Review of General Psychology, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 132-142, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1532567

Leaf Van Boven (Contact Author)

University of Colorado Boulder ( email )

University of Colorado Boulder
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, 345 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309
United States
303.735.5238 (Phone)
303.492.2967 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://psych.colorado.edu/~vanboven/

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