Having Gratitude Yields More Happiness than Having Things: The Positive Effects of Being Thankful
Two studies from Baylor University have confirmed that materialism can lead to feeling less satisfied with life, while a sense of gratitude reverses some of the negative effects of the pursuit of things.
The research, led by Professor James Roberts, Ph.D., included questionnaires sent to 246 marketing students from another university, focusing on happiness and satisfaction with a 15-minute survey that included a 15-point materialism scale. The study found that individuals that focused on achieving material goals were less satisfied with their lives, less happy and had lower self-esteem. Meanwhile, the study found that grateful students found more meaning in their lives and felt a greater sense of satisfaction.
“Individuals high in gratitude showed less of a relationship between materialism and its negative affect. Additionally, individuals high in materialism showed decreased life satisfaction when either gratitude or positive affect was low,” note the researchers.