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PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS: ONE OF THE PRICES OF MATERIALISM?




Adults who focused on money, image, and fame reported less selfactualization and vitality, and more depression than those less concerned with these values. What is more, they also reported significantly more experiences of physical symptoms. That is, people who believed it is important to strive for possessions, popularity, and good looks also reported more headaches, backaches, sore muscles, and sore throats than individuals less focused on such goals. This was really one of the first indicators, to us, of the pervasive negative correlates of materialistic values—not only is people’s psychological well-being worse when they focus on money, but so is their physical health. As in our studies of college students, materialistic values were equally unhealthy for men and women. Because of the nature of this sample, we could also examine whether findings depended on age or income. Analyses showed that regardless of their age or wealth, people with highly central materialistic values also reported lower well-being.


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