Researcher, Robert Arkin, Ph.D. of Ohio State University has found empirical evidence for the cliché that people who are insecure compensate with their checkbooks. His study determined that undergraduate students who were identified as chronic self-doubters more often agreed with such statements as “I like to own things that impress people,” and “the things I own say a lot about how well I’m doing in life.” In a second study, more self-doubt increased the tendency of subject to turn to materialistic solutions. The results also link materialism to uncertainty about one’s place in society. Arkin indicates that psychological tests consistently link a materialistic worldview to lower levels of life satisfaction.
This study was published in Psychology and Marketing and summarized in Psychology Today, Dec. 2002.
The author of this article, and founder of the Therapyinla.com website, Joyce Parker, passed away in 2011. To honor her we are keeping her articles posted at this website.
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