هنگامی که آنچه فرد به اندازه کافی است: ذهن آگاهی، اختلاف تمایل مالی و رفاه ذهنی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|32200||2009||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||8542 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Research in Personality, Volume 43, Issue 5, October 2009, Pages 727–736
Research has associated financial desire discrepancies (the gap between current and desired states) with poorer subjective well-being (SWB). Because acquiring more wealth appears ineffective in decreasing financial desire discrepancies, we examined whether a theoretically meaningful psychological factor, termed mindfulness, would close the aspiration gap by “wanting what one has,” and thereby enhance SWB. Study 1 revealed that mindfulness was associated with a smaller financial desire discrepancy, which helped explain a positive association between mindfulness and SWB in undergraduates. Two further studies with working adults showed that these results occurred independently of financial status and changes therein. A final, quasi-experimental study with mindfulness trainees extended these findings. Reasons why mindfulness may help to promote the perception of having “enough” are discussed.
Substantial empirical effort has been devoted to understanding the role of desire in the experience of happiness, or subjective well-being (SWB). Desire is a fundamental quality of human nature, and the literature clearly shows that when people are moving toward, or attain their desires, SWB tends to increase (e.g., Carver & Scheier, 1998). Conversely, when people feel a discrepancy or gap between what they have and what they want, they report lower SWB (Michalos, 1985 and Michalos, 1991). Michalos’ (1985)multiple discrepancies theory explains these results by proposing that happiness is inversely related to perceived discrepancies between what one has and various standards, including what one wants (desire discrepancy), the best one had in the past (past comparison discrepancy), and what relevant others have (social comparison discrepancy). Michalos (1985) found that measures of these discrepancies together explained considerable variance in happiness and satisfaction measures (49% and 53%, respectively). Of the major types of standards Michalos described, desire-related standards have been most strongly related to SWB ( Lance et al., 1995, Michalos, 1985 and Solberg et al., 2002). The prominence of desire related discrepancies in the prediction of SWB is also consistent with evaluation theory ( Diener and Biswas-Diener, 2002 and Diener and Lucas, 2000), which argues that desires and goals are chronically salient standards that are particularly likely to influence SWB. Desire for material wealth and possessions has been a major focus of research, especially as ever-increasing numbers of people around the world have been encouraged to participate in consumer culture and to desire wealth and the material goods and services that wealth provides (Diener and Oishi, 2000 and Kasser and Kanner, 2004). The frequent promotion of high standards of wealth and consumption through advertising, media, governmental messages, and other sources may lead people to experience discrepancies between what they have financially and what they want, fostering decrements in subjective well-being. Research indeed suggests that wealth-related desire discrepancies are quite large relative to other major life domains (Solberg, Diener, & Robinson, 2004), and that wealth discrepancies relate negatively to subjective well-being (Solberg et al., 2002). Given the important role of this “aspiration gap” (Schor, 1999) in SWB, the question arises as to how it can be reduced. The path encouraged by consumer culture and some forms of capitalism is to “get what one wants,” or meet one’s standards by obtaining (more) money and wealth (Kasser, Cohn, Kanner, & Ryan, 2007). Yet the available evidence casts doubt on the efficacy of this path, insofar as narrowing one’s financial aspiration gap by obtaining more money does little to enhance SWB for most people except the very poor. National surveys in the US generally show a modest relation between income and SWB at a single point in time, with correlations in the .10–.24 range (Diener et al., 1993, Easterlin, 2001b and Lucas et al., 2004). Further, Diener and Biswas-Diener (2002) concluded that individual-level increases in income have no consistent or long-term effect on SWB. For example, in an analysis of data from four birth cohorts, Easterlin (2001a) showed that increases in income over the life span were not accompanied by improvements in SWB. A second path to reducing financial discrepancies, then, is to “want what one has” by holding more modest standards (Diener and Oishi, 2000, Myers, 2000 and Solberg et al., 2002) and being content that what one has is “enough.” For centuries, philosophers, spiritual teachers, and other scholars have advocated the curbing of desire as a means of enhancing well-being. To date, however, we are aware of only one study that has examined how reducing financial desires might improve SWB: Solberg et al. (2002) presented evidence suggesting that individuals who have more reasonable income desires are more satisfied than those whose desires cannot be fulfilled by their incomes. However, Solberg et al.’s (2002) research was based on hypothetical wealth and material goods scenarios, and in addition the question as to how individuals can obtain more reasonable desires was not addressed. The present investigation examined whether the capacity called mindfulness might promote more modest wealth-related desires. Mindfulness refers to a state of receptive attention to present events and experience. While mindfulness varies from moment to moment within a person, considerable evidence also shows stable individual differences in mindfulness, such that those higher in trait mindfulness are more frequently attentive to and aware of their inner experience and behavior, and are more able or willing to perceive internal and external realities openly and without distortion ( Brown & Ryan, 2003). Mindfulness is non-deliberative in nature, and unlike “self-awareness” and other forms of reflexive consciousness it concerns simple observation without analyzing, comparing or otherwise evaluating events and experience (e.g., Brown, Ryan, & Creswell, 2007). Instead, mindfulness concerns a non-interference with experience, by allowing inputs to enter awareness in a simple noticing of what is taking place. Burch, 2000 and Rosenberg, 2004 suggest several reasons why mindfulness should promote a moderation of desire in general and of wealth-related desires in particular. First, because mindfulness involves being attentive to present-moment experience, it may encourage a savoring of experience, and thereby reduce desires for external pleasures that depend on money and material goods. In fact, Brown and Kasser (2005) showed that mindfulness was related to less emphasis on materialistic values such as wealth, image, and popularity and greater emphasis on intrinsic aspirations (i.e., relationships, community involvement, and personal development) that do not require major material inputs. Second, mindfulness may reduce the susceptibility to consumerist messages, as well as reduce the willingness to seek wealth and other extrinsic ends as a means to self-fulfillment, because the receptive attention to internal states promoted by mindfulness may facilitate attunement to deeper needs and desires. Indeed, mindfulness has been associated with engaging in behavior that is more volitional and self-endorsed rather than behavior that is mobilized by external pressures and conditioning (Brown and Ryan, 2003 and Levesque and Brown, 2007). Finally, mindfulness may conduce to a greater acceptance of self and one’s circumstances (e.g., Baer, 2003 and Kabat-Zinn, 1994), which may be reflected in a perception that what one has is sufficient. 1.1. The present research Four studies investigated whether dispositional mindfulness promotes smaller wealth-related desire discrepancies, and whether this path from mindfulness to smaller financial desire discrepancies is associated with higher SWB. In Study 1 we hypothesized that persons higher in trait mindfulness would report both higher SWB and smaller financial desire discrepancies. Second, we hypothesized that lower financial desire discrepancies would be related to higher SWB. Following Michalos (1985), we also tested whether this relation would be stronger than the relations of past and social comparison financial discrepancies to SWB. Third, we hypothesized a significant path leading from trait mindfulness to desire discrepancy to SWB. Notably, because finances represent only one domain of life that mindfulness may beneficially influence, we expected that financial desire discrepancies would only partially mediate the relation between mindfulness and SWB. In Studies 2 and 3, we tested our three hypotheses in American working-age adults using a community sample (Study 2) and a national sample (Study 3). Moreover, we obtained multiple indicators of personal and household financial status, and changes therein, to test whether the associations between mindfulness, financial desire discrepancies, and SWB exist independently of financial standing. Finally, Study 4 used a quasi-experimental design to test if training-related increases in mindfulness were associated with financial desire discrepancy declines and SWB increases, again after controlling for financial status.