True happiness cannot be bought

True happiness cannot be bought

As holiday sales stretch earlier and earlier into the year, many have wondered what effects America’s increase in materialism has been having on our nation’s children.

In a study recently conducted by Lan Nguyen Chaplin, a professor of marketing at the University, researchers asked children to rate the value they placed on materialistic objects such as ‘stuffed animals,” “money” and ‘sports equipment,” and compared these responses with how the children rated non-materialistic sentiments like “being with friends,” “being good at sports” and “helping others.” Researchers also evaluated the self-esteem of the children and compared the results.

A report recently released by Chaplin documenting the results of her study reveals that self-esteem is a key factor in a child’s level of materialism. Simply put, children who have low self-esteem tend to value material possessions more than children who don’t. While this study focused on youth, its findings speak to a greater reality that all of us living in a materialistic society, regardless of age, must face.

To what extent does your happiness depend on ‘stuff”? To what extent do you associate happiness with material possessions? Depending on your answers to these questions, how “real” is your happiness?

To read more of this happiness article click here.