Study: Wanting Things Makes Us Happier Than Having Them
January 16, 2013 | By Lindsay Abrams, The Atlantic
In three separate studies, Marsha Richins of the University of Missouri scored consumers as rating either "high" or low" for materialism, and then evaluated their emotional state before and after making an "important purchase."
Richin's basic theory is that materialists get a small boost of momentary happiness when they acquire something new. But they also get a happy boost just by thinking about getting something new, which happens multiple times throughout the long process of saving up money or waiting for the delivery of an online purchase.