Jobless claims are up and sales of previously owned homes have dropped this week, leading experts to conclude that the economy may be slowing. But here’s the good news in the bad news: more money doesn’t make us happy, anyway. A new study in Psychological Science concludes, in words that sound like a Sunday sermon: “Money doesn’t buy happiness. Neither does materialism: Research shows that people who place a high value on wealth, status, and stuff are more depressed and anxious and less sociable than those who do not.”
In fact, the more we think about money the worse it gets: “Irrespective of personality, in situations that activate a consumer mindset, people show the same sorts of problematic patterns in wellbeing, including negative affect and social disengagement.” That’s psychology-speak for the fact that when people think of themselves as “consumers,” they become even more possessive and antisocial.