The Downside of Wealth| Toward a Psychopathology of Money Accumulation

by Noah Laracy

Institution: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Year: 2016
Keywords: Social psychology; Clinical psychology
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2109393
Full text PDF: http://pqdtopen.proquest.com/#viewpdf?dispub=10142664


Money is generally assumed to be a good thing, but there is a downside to wealth. Research has shown that more money does not necessarily lead to greater happiness, but the reasons why remain unclear, and there is a paucity of studies comparing the wealthy to the non-wealthy. This study explored the effect of money on well-being, as well as the various problems associated with abundance. Having more money creates its own unique set of problems, as one must tend to one’s money, protect it, and deal with the insatiable urge to accumulate more of it. It was proposed that those who have a lot of money exhibit more paranoia, higher levels of money addiction, and less quality of life, than those who have only have average amounts of money, which may explain why more money does not equal more happiness. Two groups, a wealthy “target” group and a non-wealthy “control” group, each completed the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI-16), the Paranoia Checklist, the revised Workaholism scale, quality of life as indexed by the World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF, the Flourishing scale, and a demographic questionnaire. On average, the wealthy in the target group were found to have greater quality of life than the control group, mostly due to greater reported physical health and environment than their less wealthy counterparts. The other variables did not demonstrate a significant relationship or difference; in fact, on the variables of narcissism and money addiction level, the two groups were found to be nearly identical. However, once age was controlled for, paranoia was found to have a statistically significant relationship with Income. In other words, as predicted in the hypothesis, those with wealth exhibited greater paranoia than those with only average amounts of income when their ages were held constant; paranoia predicted wealth. The present study suggests one possible explanation for why more money does not necessarily lead to more happiness – the wealthy are more paranoid and distrustful of others than the non-wealthy.