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Illustration: Materialism

It probably shouldn't surprise us, but a recent study you may have seen reported suggests materialistic people might have more money, but they have less happiness. The study was done by researchers at Brigham Young University and involved more than 1,700 married couples. Couples who did not think money was important scored 15 percent higher than other couples in relationship stability and other positive relationship qualities.

The study was very bad news if both partners were materialistic. They had much higher levels of difficulty in issues such as communication, conflict management and responsiveness. Far from making a relationship secure, obsession with money produced much more conflict. In the final analysis, researchers concluded that attitude toward wealth was far more important than the actual amount of money a couple had.