Motivation and emotion/Book/2020/Materialism and well-being

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Materialism and well-being:
What is the relationship between materialism and well-being?

Overview[edit | edit source]

Figure 1. Happiness is on auction as we make ourselves to believe that we can buy it with any price.

Everything in our life is need based, as when undergoing this journey of life humans require worldly implication, that comes in many forms. Whether it be the need for money, appreciation, or relatedness, we are aroused with certain requirements that are accounted for as basic needs. When individuals go beyond these borderline necessities and get trapped in the costly happiness based on physical objects of the world this hinders the desire for materialistic happiness. Humans are attracted to materialistic items to an extent where we become so obsessed with the idea of 'buying happiness' that we forget to seek happiness in societal constructs and true permanent happiness. Manchiraju and Krizan (1990) have defined materialism as “the importance an individual attaches to worldly possessions”, [grammar?] although possessions are a part of our world, true problems are underlined when humans reach a point where they rely on these items to an extent where their emotions are controlled by the presence of these items.

Materialism in the 21st century is the value and dependence placed on inanimate objects or physical processes. Often closely linked with spirituality, materialism is researched to also closely correlate with mental health and well-being. A sense of ownership is seen within human nature from an early age, however ownership over objects comes with the misconception of bringing happiness to an individual (Burroughs & Rindfleisch, 2002). Materialism and its relationship to well-being has been highlight with the purpose that “The good-life is attainable through the goods life” (New Dream, 2011), however many studies underline the truth behind the fact that happiness comes with a price.

Focus questions
  • Is the concept of materialism responsible for our definition of needs, desires and wants?
  • How are materialistic items connected to our emotions?
  • Can individuals find permanent happiness amongst the materialistic construct, or is there something beyond the reach of humankind?

History and cultural aspects of Materialism[edit | edit source]

Ancient Indian Philosophy was thought to come with the theory of materialism and Atomism, dating back to as early as 600 B.C. The Nyaya-Vaisesika school (600 BCE-100 BCE) brewed the ideas of the earliest forms of atomism, using their proofs of conscious existence, using religious approaches to derive that humans was not material made they should driven not to be materialists (Churchland, 1981).

Following from this, the Confucius era brought forward materialism once more, despite Taoism and Buddhism becoming more popular in the following times the concept of Neo-Confucianism combined ideas of materialism into a metaphysical framework. Its concepts include li (principle, akin to Plato's forms), qi (vital or material force), taiji (the Great Ultimate), and xin (mind). From this, Xun Zi developed a Confucian doctrine based on the essentials of realism and materialism in Ancient China.

De Rerum Natura provided the Ancient Greek philosophers with mechanistic explanations and connotations for phenomena such as physical aspects of scientific happenings including, erosion, evaporation, wind, and sound. Recounts of materialistic forms created the view that everything existing matter and void, and all phenomena are results of specific motions and conglomerations of base material particles called, 'atoms', (Sedley, 2018)[grammar?].

Types of Materialism[edit | edit source]

[Provide more detail]

Naïve or spontaneous materialism[edit | edit source]

Lenin called the unconstrained realism of researchers normal recorded realism. There is an insoluble connection between the unconstrained realism of researchers and philosophical realism as a pattern. Normal authentic realism is a realism that is "semi-intentionally and instinctually devoted to the soul of characteristic science". Lately the regulation might be communicated as far as "energise," which decreases everything to some type of energy, or as a type of "positivism," which underscores the positive sciences and repudiates concern with respect to the idea of the real world. Unthinking realism is the principle that the world is administered by characteristic laws which might be depicted in numerical terms when the important information are accessible. It is that kind of transcendentalism which expands the idea machine and stresses the mechanical idea, all things considered, natural just as inorganic. In the event that it does not decrease all cycles to the terms of material science and science, it asserts that all wonders are dependent upon similar techniques for clarification.

Metaphysical materialism[edit | edit source]

With the ascent of Cartesian transcendentalism in the 17th century, in any case, realism appeared to be in transit out. Descartes suggested that, in any event regarding people, two fundamentally various substances (brain and matter) cooperated. This didn't go over so well with in any event one of his counterparts, to be specific, the English scholar Thomas Hobbes. Just put the vulnerability guideline says that our insight into one quality comes to the detriment of information on another attribute.  For instance, say an individual need to realise how quick an electron is voyaging and you'd likewise prefer to realise where it's located. As it is possible you can find out about its speed yet then an individual will not realise where it's at. It turns out that quantum hypothesis is correct.  The purpose behind the cutoff as far as anyone is concerned isn't because of the insufficiency of our estimating capacity rather it is that at the subatomic level there is an essential indeterminism. The texture of the universe is the thing that physicists call "likelihood waves."  it could be said things don't exist (in any event at the subatomic level) until their likelihood wave implodes; that is until we watch them and in doing so make them real. The word realism has been utilised in current occasions to allude to a group of otherworldly hypotheses (i.e., speculations of the idea of the real world) that can best be characterised by saying that a hypothesis will in general be called realist in the event that it is felt adequately to look like a paradigmatic hypothesis that will here be called mechanical realism.

Dialectical materialism[edit | edit source]

Dialectic materialism is certifiably not a robotic nor a totally deterministic way of thinking. Man can impact his own life and history, yet just inside the structure of the current materials. Life originates from the inorganic, and man is a piece of nature. Man and creatures contrast in degree instead of in kind. Man can make nature serve his closures, notwithstanding. Man alone can make the conditions where he lives and, it might be said, help to make his own set of experiences. The springs of activity dwell not in thoughts, nor in men's cravings, nor in their cerebrums, however principally in the cycles of creation and the class relations in the public arena. The hypothesis of logic is that everything is in a cycle of constant change and that these progressions continue through an attestation or proposition to some refusal or absolute opposite, to a reconciliation or a union. A turn of events, both of things and of thought is achieved through the defeating of logical inconsistencies. For instance, "being" drives one to consider "non-being." Non-being and being, when joined together, give the idea "turning out to be." in the public eye, to utilise another representation, a pattern toward outrageous independence will in general create a counter-development toward community, or the inverse. Out of these limits may come a general public which perceives the estimation of both individual opportunity and aggregate activity.

Factors influencing materialism[edit | edit source]

[Provide more detail]

Karl Marx Materialism[edit | edit source]

Fundamental to Marx's idea is his hypothesis of recorded realism, which contended that human social orders and their social foundations (like religion, law, profound quality, and so forth) were the outgrowths of aggregate monetary movement. Marx's hypothesis was intensely affected by Hegel's rationalistic technique. In any case, while Marx concurred with Hegel's fundamental rationalistic postulation of social change, he couldn't help contradicting the thought that theoretical thoughts were the motor. Key to Marx's thought is his speculation of recorded authenticity, which battled that human social requests and their social establishments (like religion, law, significant quality, etc) were the outgrowths of total money related development. Marx's speculation was strongly influenced by Hegel's rationalistic procedure. Regardless, while Marx agreed with Hegel's crucial rationalistic hypothesis of social change, he was unable to help repudiating the idea that hypothetical contemplations were the engine (SAGE, 2015). Basic to Marx's thought is his speculation of recorded authenticity, which battled that human social requests and their social establishments (like religion, law, significant quality, etc) were the outgrowths of total money related development. Marx's theory was strongly influenced by Hegel's rationalistic method. Regardless, while Marx agreed with Hegel's major rationalistic proposition of social change, he was unable to help repudiating the idea that hypothetical contemplations were the engine.

Wealth and well-being[edit | edit source]

Research over the past decade has established the two means to classify well-being, one of these being emotional well-being[and the other?]. Emotional well-being alludes to the enthusiastic nature of a person's regular encounter—the recurrence and force of encounters of delight, stress, misery, outrage, and love that make one's life wonderful or disagreeable[grammar?]. Life assessment alludes to the musings that individuals have about their life when they consider it[vague]. We collect[say what?] whether or not materialistic joy, accounts for these two parts of prosperity. Surveys conducted by the Gallup Organization recorded responses of more than 450,000 participants to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index[factual?]. It was evidently related that emotional well-being (measured by questions about emotional experiences yesterday) and life evaluation (measured by Cantril's Self-Anchoring Scale) have different correlates[vague].

Income and education are more closely related to life evaluation, but health, caregiving, loneliness, and smoking are relatively stronger predictors of daily emotions[factual?]. When plotted against log income, life evaluation rises steadily. Emotional well-being also rises with log income, but there is no further progress beyond an annual income of $75,000[which currency is this?] (Argyle, 1999). Low income exacerbates the emotional pain associated with such misfortunes as divorce, ill health, and being alone[factual?]. It can be concluded that a comparatively higher income is able to purchase life satisfaction, however happiness is a different case. It is also claimed that low income is associated both with low life evaluation and low emotional well-being[factual?].

One specific explanation we wind up intrigued by monetary achievement is its idea making us more joyful. We imagine the lives of tycoons as tranquil, delighted adaptations of our own, and we regularly characteristic[grammar?] life's issues to an absence of monetary squirm room.

"Happiness, not gold or prestige, is the ultimate currency.”

—Tal Ben-Shahar

The broad communications has persuaded numerous Americans that riches prompts bliss, that is not generally the situation[grammar?]. Cash can unquestionably assist you with accomplishing your objectives, accommodate your future, and make life more charming, yet just having the stuff doesn't ensure satisfaction .

In the event that individual fund were as straightforward as getting math, this book wouldn't be important[say what?]; individuals could never overspend, stray into the red, or settle on silly money related choices. However, research shows that our decisions depend on something other than number-crunching—they're likewise affected by an intricate trap of mental and passionate components.

Socio-economic impacts[edit | edit source]

The investigation of joy, or abstract prosperity, and its suggestions for monetary conduct is a genuinely new zone for business analysts, in spite of the fact that therapists have been reading it for quite a long time. The discoveries of this exploration feature the non-salary determinants of monetary conduct. For instance, cross country investigations of joy reliably exhibit that after certain base degrees of per capita salary, normal joy levels don't increment as nations become wealthier[factual?]. Inside social orders, most investigations locate that wealthier people are on normal more joyful than helpless ones, yet after a base degree of salary, more cash doesn't make individuals a lot more joyful as pay assumes such a significant function in standard definitions and proportions of prosperity, these discoveries have hypothetical, experimental, and strategy suggestions[grammar?][factual?]. Probably the most punctual[say what?] financial analysts –,[grammar?] for example, Jeremy Bentham – were worried about the quest for singular bliss. As the field turned out to be more thorough and quantitative, in any case, much smaller meanings of individual government assistance, or utility, turned into the standard, despite the fact that financial aspects was as yet worried about open government assistance in the more extensive sense. Also, financial experts have generally avoided the utilisation of overview information on account of reasonable worries that responses to reviews of individual inclinations – and announced prosperity – are liable to predisposition from variables, for example, respondents' mind-set at the hour of the study and minor changes in the stating of study questions, which can create enormous slants in results[vague]. Consequently, the customary financial examination around real conduct, for example, uncovered inclinations in utilisation, investment funds, and work market cooperation, under the presumption that people judiciously measure all the data available to them to augment their utility. Conduct financial aspects has started to have impact at the edge, as an expanding number of business analysts supplement the strategies and examination addresses more normal to market analysts with those more normal therapists.[vague]

Case study

The academic investigation of realism is getting more normal in an assortment of controls[vague] . This research gives an exact survey of this thriving group of writing by directing a meta-investigation of the connection among well-being and mental prosperity. Correlations within the samples depicted within the [what?] study that although wealth and individuals with higher incomes reported more happiness, this would rather suggest the current temporary satisfaction from their financial situations instead of the achievement of long-term happiness. Different scientists have recommended that maybe realism isn't as adverse in Eastern societies, where it isn't seen as a dishonourable characteristic. Further exploration that investigates and expounds on these thoughts would be advantageous.[vague]

Quiz questions[edit | edit source]

The Placebo of Materialism[move to the external links section]

Choose the correct answers and click "Submit":

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Which of the following best describes a materialistic philosophy?

The belief that having more material goods will make you happy.
The belief that experiences and relationships are more important than material goods.
The belief that recycling objects, rather than throwing them away, will make you happier.
The belief that having more materials goods will make you less happy.

Human well-being[edit | edit source]

Human well-being is a wide idea, one that incorporates numerous parts of our regular day to day existences. It includes material prosperity, associations with loved ones, and enthusiastic and physical wellbeing. It incorporates work and amusement, how one feels about one's locale, and individual wellbeing. Absolutely characterising human prosperity is troublesome, nonetheless. Despite the fact that it very well may be portrayed, it does not have an all around satisfactory definition and has various, and frequently contending, understandings. As human prosperity can't be legitimately watched, it can't be autonomously estimated. What's more, there are a large group of terms - personal satisfaction, government assistance, well-living, expectations for everyday comforts, utility, life fulfillments, success, needs satisfaction, improvement, strengthening, ability extension, human turn of events, neediness, human destitution, land and, all the more as of late, joy – that are regularly utilised conversely with human prosperity (McGillivray and Clarke, 2014).

Consequences of materialism on well-being[edit | edit source]

While there is proof from the self-assurance point of view for the intercession of fundamental needs fulfillments in the realism prosperity connect, no examination to date has endeavoured to look at the general commitment of the three needs to the interceding impact. Given that the prescient estimation of mental needs on prosperity relies on the match between the need and life areas, in two examinations we[say what?] explore the differential intervening function of each of the three needs in the negative connection among realism and prosperity. The profound infiltration of industrialism has imparted a mentality that material acquisitions are a course to accomplishing distinction, personality and satisfaction. Realism is characterised as a 'distraction with, want for and accentuation on, material products and cash to the disregard of different issues'. There is a plenty of exact proof recommending that realism is contrarily identified with emotional prosperity (Garoarsdottir et al., 2008; Vansteenkiste, Duriez, Simons, and Soenens, 2006; Webb and Wong, 2014), which means throughout everyday life and self assurance, actualisation and essentialness (Kasser and Ahuvia, 2002){[gr}}. Kasser (2002) examines why materialistic qualities alongside their express outer centre cannot fulfil the requirement for independence. He recommends that this may occur for three reasons. Right off the bat, materialistic people are bound to zero in on remunerations, acclaim and endorsement in their interests, in this manner diverting themselves from the fascinating, agreeable and testing parts of those interests[vague]. As self-governance requires commitment in any movement with a feeling of intrigue and responsibility, materialistic people frequently don't encounter this feeling of volition. Besides, since materialistic people display a serious extent of self presentational concerns and inherently spurring/self-ruling exercises require losing reluctance, it appears to be that realism is on a very basic level not the same as self-rule[grammar?]. At long last, an assortment of materialistic practices, for example, shopping (Fave and Bassi, 2000) staring at the TV or staying at work past 40 hours are probably not going to make people experience stream – one of the basic elements of being in a self-sufficient state[factual?]. Consequently, the feeling of characteristic decision or will in seeking after materialistic desires is frequently lost.

Realism has become an indispensable aspect of shoppers' financial exercises and current living, with mostly negative outcomes announced from realists' way of life. A portion of the revealed negative results of realism are expanding buyer obligation and chapter 11[say what?], contracting sparing, monetary emergency and lower levels of life fulfillments and prosperity. Subsequently, financial analysts, purchaser specialists, sociologists and family clinicians are contemplating the predecessors of realism, yet there is yet to be an understanding regarding how the build ought to be characterised and on what causes or predicts realism[vague]. Pundits of realism have regularly observed just negative outcomes and accused promoting exercises for the development of realism, however generous scholastic writing and experimental examinations report organic, social, social, financial, mental and even political components driving realism. There is in this manner a need to build up an incorporated and thorough hypothetical system, which outlines the different indicators of realism[vague]. There is likewise the need to feature the negative, just as certain outcomes of realism for the enthusiasm of retailers, buyer intrigue gatherings and strategy creators[vague].

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

Materialism impacts social and mental aspects of an individual as it becomes so important in the life of an individual that it is all we want to achieve in our lives, disregarding core happiness. Materialism can impact life fulfillments both decidedly and contrarily. We[who?] expand on the double model of realism to present the defence that two components of realism—achievement and joy—may impact life fulfilment in an unexpected way. Achievement realism (riches and material belongings is an indication of accomplishment throughout everyday life) may impact life fulfillments decidedly, though joy realism (riches and material utilisation is an indication of joy throughout everyday life) may impact life contrarily. Achievement materialism since it serves to help financial inspiration and causing an ascent with their way of life, in turn adds to future life joy. Bliss realism, interestingly, impacts life fulfillments unfavourably through two ways. One way includes disappointment with way of life, impacting in a negative manner. The other negative way includes disappointment with other life spaces; that is, bliss realism cheapens life happiness by subverting fulfilment in other life areas, for example, monetary life, family life, public activity, and so forth

Higher-class individuals approach more assets (word[say what?] related, budgetary, and so forth) and are less worried about gathering their fundamental needs. Subsequently, they are more centred around themselves and on seeking after self-articulation and self-improvement. Given the nearby connection among encounters and oneself, it is characteristic that higher-class individuals should feel more joyful from getting more encounters, rather than merchandise. Lower-class people, then again, are more worried about utilising their restricted money related assets; they are frequently more joyful buying materials than encounters since things can "give commonsense advantages each time they are utilised, are truly dependable, and regularly have resale esteem.

Numerous business analysts and government officials accept that avarice – the motivation to purchase and have things – is normal to individuals. This appears to bode well as far as Darwin's hypothesis of development: since characteristic assets are restricted, people need to contend over them, and attempt to guarantee as enormous a piece of them as could reasonably be expected.

One of the issues with this hypothesis is that there is very 'normal' about the craving to collect riches. Actually, this craving would have been tragic for before individuals[grammar?]. For by far most of our experience on this planet, individuals have lived as tracker finders – little clans who might ordinarily move to an alternate site like clockwork. As should be obvious from present day tracker finders, this lifestyle must be non-materialistic, on the grounds that individuals can't bear to be burdened with pointless merchandise.

See also[edit | edit source]

Peacefulness and well-being (Book chapter, 2019)

Being too happy (Book chapter, 2019)

Materialism (Wikipedia)

Physicalism (Wikipedia)

References[edit | edit source]

Argyle, M. (1999). Causes and correlates of happiness. In D. Kahneman, E. Diener, & N. Schwartz (Eds.), Foundations of hedonic psychology: Scientific perspectives on enjoyment and suffering. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Burroughs, J., & Rindfleisch, A. (2002). Materialism and Well-Being: A Conflicting Values Perspective. Journal Of Consumer Research, 29(3), 348-370.

Azizi, M. (2017). The Effect of Individual Factors, Socioeconomic and Social Participation on Individual Happiness: A Cross-Sectional Study. JOURNAL OF CLINICAL AND DIAGNOSTIC RESEARCH.

Churchland, Paul (1981). Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional Attitudes. The Philosophy of Science. Boyd, Richard; P. Gasper; J. D. Trout. Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press.

Clark, D. (2014). Defining and Measuring Human Well-Being. Global Environmental Change, 833-855.

Diener, E., Horowistz, J., & Emmons, R.A. (1985). Happiness of the very wealthy. Social Indicators, 16, 263-274.

Dunn, E. W., Gilbert, D. T., & Wilson, T. D. (2011). If money doesn’t make you happy, then you probably aren’t spending it right. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 21, 115–125

Hegelianism. (2020). Retrieved 5 October 2020, from,the%20system%20of%20absolute%20idealism.

Karl Marx - Wikiversity. (2020). Retrieved 13 October 2020, from

Lee, J. C., Hall, D. L., & Wood, W. (in press). Experiential or material purchases? Social class determines purchase happiness. Psychological Science. Doi: 10.1177/0956797617736386

Lipovčan, L., Prizmić-Larsen, Z., & Brkljačić, T. (2015). Materialism, affective states, and life satisfaction: case of Croatia. Springerplus, 4(1).

Manchiraju, S., & Krizan, Z. (2015). What is materialism? Testing two dominant perspectives on materialism in the marketing literature. Management & Marketing, 10(2), 89-102.

Materialism - By Branch / Doctrine - The Basics of Philosophy. (2020). Retrieved 11 October 2020, from,by%20many%20academic%20studies%20since.

Nagpaul, T., & Pang, J. (2016). Materialism lowers well-being: The mediating role of the need for autonomy - correlational and experimental evidence. Asian Journal Of Social Psychology, 20(1), 11-21.

The High Price of Materialism. (2011). [Video]. Retrieved 7 October 2020, from

External links[edit | edit source]