Researchers have found that there is not just a correlation between low self-esteem and materialism, but also a causal relationship where low self-esteem INCREASES materialism and materialism can CREATE low self-esteem.
They also found that as an individual's self-esteem increases, their interest in materialism decreases. In a study primarily focused on how this relationship effects children and adolescents, Lan Nguyen Chaplin (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) and Deborah Roedder John (University of Minnesota) found that even a simple gesture to raise self-esteem dramatically decreased materialism. "By the time children reach early adolescence and experience a decline in self-esteem, the stage is set for the use of material possessions as a coping strategy for feelings of low self-worth". The paradox that findings such as these bring up, is that consumerism is good for the economy in the short run, but bad for the individual in the long run, especially for young people. Most of us want more income so we can consume more stuff.
However, several separate studies show that as societies become richer, they do not become happier. Statistically people have more material possessions and money than they did fifty years ago, but they are actually less happy. In fact, the wealthiest countries have more depression, alcoholism and more crime than they did fifty years ago and yet we have more material goods to purchase than ever before. This paradox is true of Britain, the United States, Australia, continental Europe and Japan. The real reason people want whatever is currently "hot" or "in style" is because they believe it will contribute towards their satisfaction and happiness in life. The word "believe" is the key here. People believe that buying more and more things, especially name brand clothes and cars, will make them happy, when in fact research has shown time and time again that this simply isn't the case. The point here is if you believe that when you get enough "stuff you will be happy, you are setting yourself up to be very disappointed. So instead why not be happy NOW? That's right! Cut out the middleman (all that stuff you think will make you happy when you get it) and just be happy NOW. A radical idea, wouldn't you say? Truly Caring for Your Success! Dr. Robert Anthony P.S. Self-esteem and our current state of consciousness are significantly linked - it is possible to bend reality and move into the highest framework of consciousness.