Does The Stuff You Buy Make You Happier? BU Prof Says No

WACO (December 3, 2013) There’s truth to the saying “money doesn’t buy happiness,” Baylor University marketing expert Dr. James Roberts says.

Roberts is the author of the book “Shiny Objects: Why we spend money we don’t have in search of happiness we can’t buy.”

He says overspending, particularly at Christmas, not only can lead consumers into trouble down the road, but also does little to make them happier.

“It’s not so much that we get joy from the presents that we buy, but we distract ourselves from our problems,” he said.

“But we love our stuff and we've again been told that money or happiness can be purchased and so we look for it in the consumer realm,” he said.

Consumer spending has risen over the past 50 years, he says, but during that same period the overall level of happiness has remained unchanged, he said.

“In the end what really matters to people is not the amount of possessions they amass throughout a lifetime, but the experiences they have with friends (and) family and how they interact with the community,” he said.

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