Title

Money, materialism, and the good life: Cultural perspectives

Publication Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date

2014

Abstract

Is the good life happy, meaningful, or rich? This chapter examines folk theories or lay conceptions of the good life using a person perception paradigm. We review studies that compare how respondents weigh the importance of happiness, meaning, and wealth in judgments of quality of life. Although happiness and meaning were judged as overwhelming indicators of the good life in all of our samples, cultural differences emerged in the importance of wealth. Whereas American college students viewed wealth as relatively unimportant to the good life, older Americans and Singaporeans rated wealth as more important. Results were consistent across a decade of research. We explore the underpinnings of these differences through the priming of the self from another’s perspective. We discuss the role of materialism in different societies.

Keywords

Happiness, Materialism, Culture, Subjective well-being, Quality of life, Positive Psychology, Consumption

Discipline

Social Psychology

Research Areas

Psychology

Publication

Consumption and well-being in the material world

Editor

Tatzel, Minam

First Page

109

Last Page

125

ISBN

9789400773677

Identifier

10.1007/978-94-007-7368-4_6

Publisher

Springer Verlag

City or Country

Dordrecht

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-7368-4_6