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Seasonal shopping: Pursuit of possessions undermines happiness

Media Contact

Lindsey Hadlock

The National Retail Federation expects consumers to spend $720 billion this holiday season, starting online and in stores Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Thomas Gilovich, professor of psychology, says connecting with other people greatly contributes to happiness, and the pursuit of material possessions undermines it.


Thomas Gilovich

Professor of psychology

“Want a reason to escape the Black Friday insanity? Research shows people get more enduring satisfaction and happiness from experiences than from material goods, so why not give the special people in your life experiences rather than material goods? A gift certificate to a favorite restaurant, concert tickets, or music, art, or trapeze lessons.”


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