A New Study Praises The Psychology Underlying The Minimalism Movement

A New Study Praises The Psychology Underlying The Minimalism Movement

via Forbes by Mark Travers

A new article published in the Journal of Positive Psychology suggests that there are definite psychological advantages to adhering to a philosophy of minimalism and voluntary simplicity.

“Research has accumulated over the years to support the adage that money can’t buy happiness,” state the authors of the research led by Joshua Hook of the University of North Texas. “As an alternative to the high-consumption lifestyle often found in Western cultures, voluntary simplicity (also referred to as minimalism) involves a lifestyle that is focused on reducing consumption and excess in one’s life so that individuals can focus on prioritizing their values.”

To better understand the connection between minimalism and happiness, Hook and his team scoured the research literature for all studies published on the topic. They found 23 such studies. Next, they tested to see how many of these studies supported the hypothesis that minimalism/voluntary simplicity is associated with enhanced psychological well-being.

They found that, among the studies that included a quantitative (i.e., numerical) component, over 80% reported a connection between voluntary simplicity and well-being. For example, a 2005 study led by Kirk Brown of the University of Rochester compared 200 self-identified voluntary simplifiers and 200 matched control participants and found that voluntary simplifiers exhibited more positive emotion and well-being than did control participants.

And, among the studies that included a qualitative (i.e., interview) component, over 85% found a link between voluntary simplicity and well-being.

“Overall, the vast majority of studies found a positive relationship between voluntary simplicity and well-being,” state the researchers. “This finding was mostly consistent irrespective of how voluntary simplicity and well-being were measured and it was also consistent across both quantitative and qualitative research designs.”

The authors speculate that the link between minimalism and psychological well-being has to do with the fact that minimalists are better able to control their desires to consume. Minimalism may also encourage people to focus on psychological needs — such as autonomy, competence, and relatedness — that have been shown to promote psychological growth…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE