An interesting article on the research into why human beings are so materialistic from Life Hacker.
When a product image flashed before people’s eyes, an area of the brain called the nucleus accumbens lit up when a subject liked what they saw. Essentially, the brain’s pleasure center kicks into gear and floods the brain with dopamine at the very thought of getting something we want. The weirdest thing about this is that just thinking about buying something is pretty much the same as actually buying it…..
Many economists and politicians believe that acquisitiveness—the impulse to buy and possess things—is natural to human beings….
Existing scientific research on the value of materialism yields clear and consistent findings. People who are highly focused on materialistic values have lower personal well-being and psychological health than those who believe that materialistic pursuits are relatively unimportant…..
The researchers point out that, as we are repeatedly bombarded with such images through advertisements, and constantly described by the media as consumers, these temporary effects could be triggered more or less continuously….
Wow. Am rethinking window shopping as an innocent hobby.