Northwestern University psychologists have recently reported a recent study. They have found that materialistic people, who place a high value to being wealthy and having a desirable social status, are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and are reported to be considerably less sociable.
The research took personality traits into account in order that they were able to establish where variations lie in diagnosis of mental and social disorders. It was found that a ‘consumer mindset’ is directly associated with problems with general wellbeing, more negative affect which is the experience of negative thoughts and feelings as well as social disengagement.
University students were recruited for the experiments. The consumer frame of mind was induced by the researchers who showed them images of luxurious items including cars, jewellery and desirable electrical equipment. Additionally they were asked to read lists of words that represented consumerist values.
Later the students were asked to complete questionnaires looking for the presence of symptoms of anxiety and depression . The questionnaires also set out to establish the participant’s interest in social engagement.
Those participants whom were manipulated into a consumer and materialistic mindset were more likely to report symptoms of depression and anxiety and showed a reduced desire to partake in social activities such as parties in exchange for more solitary pursuits.