People who lack gratitude tend to be less satisfied with life
A new study suggests that people who are materialistic are more likely to be depressed and unsatisfied, as they find it harder to be grateful for what they have.
"Gratitude is a positive mood. It's about other people," study lead author Jo-Ann Tsang, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology and neuroscience in Baylor's College of Arts and Sciences, said.
"Previous research that we and others have done finds that people are motivated to help people that help them - and to help others as well. We're social creatures, and so focusing on others in a positive way is good for our health," the researcher said.
But materialism tends to be "me-centered." A material outlook focuses on what one does not have, impairing the ability to be grateful for what one already has, researchers said.
"Our ability to adapt to new situations may help explain why 'more stuff' doesn't make us any happier," study co-author, James Roberts, Ph.D., holder of The Ben H. Williams Professorship in Marketing in Baylor's Hankamer School of Business said.
"As we amass more and more possessions, we don't get any happier we simply raise our reference point.
"That new 2,500-square-foot house becomes the baseline for your desires for an even bigger house. It's called the Treadmill of Consumption. We continue to purchase more and more stuff but we don't get any closer to happiness, we simply speed up the treadmill," he added.
The study appears in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.
(Posted on 02-04-2014)