home
RSS
April 15th, 2010
12:08 PM ET

Materialistic people less happy, less liked

By Elizabeth Landau
CNN.com Health Writer/Producer

Let's say you get a check for $50 for your birthday. Would you spend it on something material, like a watch or a bracelet, or an experience, like a day at the beach or nice dinner?

Research has shown that experiences bring people more happiness than material possessions. That's because we become accustomed to objects - after a few weeks or months, that shiny new car is just a means of getting around - but remembering activities can give us pleasure indefinitely. Read more about those studies

Now, pioneers of those ideas have demonstrated that people who pursue happiness through experiences are better liked by others than those who are more materialistic. Their new study is published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Leaf Van Boven, psychology professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and colleagues gave undergraduate students a national survey, which they used in five experiments to test their ideas.

In one of them, participants were told about people who had bought a material object or a life experience. Researches found that when the undergraduates learned about someone making a material purchase, this caused them to like that person less than a different person who purchased something experiential.

The authors concluded that people tend to have negative stereotypes about materialistic people. Participants asked to describe a materialistic person often used words such as "selfish" and "self-centered." When they described a experiential person, adjectives such as "altruistic," "friendly" and "outgoing" came up, the authors said.

Study co-author Thomas Gilovich, professor and chairman of the psychology department at Cornell University, has pointed out in the past that comparing recent material purchases with friends generates more jealousy than trading stories about recent vacations. Material purchases can be compared physically - one person's television can be objectively bigger and brighter than her friend's - whereas each experience is unique and precious in its own way to the individual.

For those who by nature enjoy buying things, the authors recommend a change of pace. Given that experiences not only bring more happiness, but also social approval, a materialistic person would benefit from investing more in experiences and less in objects, the theory goes.

Watch Van Boven discuss the research online here.

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


« Previous entry
soundoff (207 Responses)
  1. casino shift manager job description

    Tỷ Lệ Kèo Bóng Đá Vòng 1Tỷ Lệ Kèo Bóng Đá, Tỷ Lệ Cá Cược, Tỷ Lệ Kèo Nhà Cái casino tumblrHai trận đấu của lượt cuối mỗi bảng bắt buộc phải thi đấu cùng giờ. Kết thúc vòng bảng, đội nhất, nhì các bảng và 4 đội xếp thứ ba có thành tích tốt nhất sẽ giành quyền vào vòng 16 đội.

    https://www.vnd188.bet/

    June 26, 2021 at 20:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. vtc7

    Trực Tiếp Soccer Hôm Nayxôi lạc tvNếu cứ đùa như cách vừa tiêu diệt Everton cho tới 3-1 trên sân khách hàng

    https://murraystivoli.com/detail/k-lich-chieu-phim-cgv-89245.html

    June 27, 2021 at 18:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. xem bong da viet nam gap thai lan

    Trực Tiếp Bóng Đá Hôm Naycakhia tvĐây có lẽ là ngôi trường hợp “của đi thay cho người" khá may mắn đối với Ben McLemore. Thiếu chút nữa tay ném của Los Angeles Lakers đã có thể gặp hiểm họa nguy hiểm. Cập nhật kết quả trận nước ta vs Lebanon nằm trong play-off vòng loại Futsal World Cup 2021.

    https://murraystivoli.com/detail/cakhia-link-94050.html

    June 28, 2021 at 05:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. xem lai chung ket c1

    Xoilac Tv Trực Tiếp Soccer keo nha cai .netĐội tuyển chọn futsal nước Việt Nam đã có được một trận đấu đồng ý được trước phe đối lập đầy sức mạnh Lebanon. Kết trái Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu vs Bình Phước ngày hôm nay 18h00 ngày 5/5, Hạng nhất nước ta.

    https://questiontime.info/

    June 29, 2021 at 08:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Susantap

    Free adalt video gta 5 sex mode

    June 30, 2021 at 08:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. zing play

    Xoilac Tv Thẳng Soccer live casinoĐội tuyển nước ta chỉ cần thiết một kết trái hòa có bàn thắng nhằm lần loại hai góp mặt trên World Cup futsal. Nhưng, để thực hiện được điều đó

    https://novelinkblog.com/

    June 30, 2021 at 09:51 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

« Previous entry
Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.