Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Materialism is the First World response to Insecurity and Low Self Esteem

Researchers have found that low self-esteem and materialism are not just a correlation, but also a causal relationship where low self esteem increases materialism, and materialism can also create low self-esteem. The also found that as self esteem increases, materialism decreases. The study primarily focused on how this relationship affects children and adolescents. Lan Nguyen Chaplin (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) and Deborah Roedder John (University of Minnesota) found that even a simple gesture to raise self-esteem dramatically decreased materialism, which provides a way to cope with insecurity.

"By the time children reach early adolescence, and experience a decline in self-esteem, the stage is set for the use of material possessions as a coping strategy for feelings of low self-worth," they write in the study.
"Growing up in a Material World: Age Differences in Materialism in Children and Adolescents," Lan Nguyen Chaplin Deborah Roedder John
Journal of Consumer Research, Volume 34, Issue 4, 1 December 2007, Pages 480–493,
In the book Happiness: Lessons From a New Science, Richard Layard exposes a paradox at the heart of our lives. Most of us want more income so we can consume more. Yet as societies become richer, they do not become happier. In fact, the First World has more depression, more alcoholism and more crime than fifty years ago. This paradox is true of Britain, the United States, continental Europe and Japan. (e.a.)