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Tuesday, 3 July, 2001, 23:38 GMT 00:38 UK
Wealth's impact on mental health
Money
A materialistic approach to life will not make you happy
Wealth and spending may be associated with success and happiness, but they will not give you a love for life.

Neither will it improve your psychological health, or raise your concern for the environment.

Scientists from the University of Newcastle, Australia, set out to examine the impact of a materialistic approach to life.


The possession of conspicuous goods is associated neither with global life satisfaction and psychological health, nor with a love of life

University of Newcastle researchers
They had noted that, while there is growing concern over the environmental effects of materialism and global consumerism, little attention had been paid to its psychological effects.

The researchers examined three groups of students and a number of people randomly selected from a regional telephone directory.

Depression

They found that materialistic people were more likely to suffer from depression and anger. They were also more likely to be conformist.

However, they were less likely to be satisfied with their life, or to be interested in the environment.

The doctors said: "While the possession of conspicuous goods may be equated with success, happiness and seen as a goal in itself, it is associated neither with global life satisfaction and psychological health, nor with a love of life or concern for the environment."

The findings also suggested that materialistic people judged success or failure on the basis of personal possessions.

They also saw social recognition as important, supporting the notion that materialism is largely based on social comparisons.

The research was presented to the European Congress of Psychology, held at the Barbican Centre, London.

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