The road not taken: Friendship, consumerism, and happiness

Abstract

Since the mid?1960s in advanced and rapidly advancing economies, there has been a rising tide of clinical depression and dysphoria, a decline in mutual trust, and a loosening of social bonds. Most studies show that above a minimal level, income is irrelevant to one's sense of well?being, but companionship and social support increase well?being. Since shopping and consumption are increasingly solitary activities, and watching television is not genuinely sociable, the increased time devoted to these activities may be responsible for rising levels of depression. Advanced societies are likely to increase ?utility? if they maximize friendship rather than the getting and spending of wealth.

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References found in this work

Sociobiology: The New Synthesis.Edward O. Wilson - 1975 - Journal of the History of Biology 33 (3):577-584.

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