Possessions and happiness: economic materialism and bad psychology

Michael Baldwin

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Subjective well-being (SWB), a prominent psychological theory of happiness, claims happiness involves our positive first-person affective and cognitive psychological experiences. SWB also claims the Economic Materialist (EM), who prioritises material acquisition, is less happy than those who are not EM's. I reject this because possessions have a salience that distorts the EM's SWB self-reports downwards; and also because it ignores a pluralistic view of happiness. Other types of happiness rehabilitate the role of possessions in augmenting our happiness. This is important to know as we all must negotiate the role and place of possessions in life.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Western Australia
  • Levine, Michael, Supervisor
  • Rubin, Michael, Supervisor
Award date19 Jul 2021
Publication statusUnpublished - 2021


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