New Research Suggests That Greedy People Experience A Fleeting Sense Of Pride Upon Obtaining Something New, Leaving Them Perpetually Desiring More And Fueling A Cycle Of Greed

New Africa - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

Greed is known as an unquenchable thirst for acquiring “more” – especially wealth or power – accompanied by an enduring dissatisfaction, regardless of what someone already has.

This contradiction suggests that people inclined towards greed find themselves caught in an endless cycle that fails to actually satisfy their desires.

Now, a recent series of studies has shown that greedy individuals experience a fleeting sense of pride upon obtaining something new. However, this sense of pride diminishes rapidly and leaves them perpetually desiring more.

Study authors Eric J. Mercadante and Jessica L. Tracy delved into this concept by investigating how both authentic and hubristic forms of pride react to fresh acquisitions among people who are greedy.

A total of four studies comprised the research effort and used a combination of correlational, longitudinal, and daily-diary techniques to understand study participants’ emotional reactions to acquiring new possessions.

The first investigation, known as Study S1, included 197 American adults who were recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk). They completed surveys about their tendencies toward greed, feelings of authentic and hubristic pride, as well as their positive and negative emotions. They focused on their most recent non-essential purchase, rating their emotions at the time of purchase and again several weeks later.

Then, Study 1 included 400 adults from MTurk and had a similar procedure. Participants reflected on their emotions immediately after making a purchase and at follow-up times, which were up to four weeks later. This allowed researchers to observe how feelings of pride change over time following a purchase.

Next, in Study 2, the attention turned towards younger individuals, with 346 undergraduate students recruited to participate in the study. These participants filled out the same surveys as in the previous study, along with the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale.

They noted their initial emotional responses to specific purchases and then followed up one and two weeks later. This structure offered a day-by-day glimpse into how the acquisitions affect emotions over time.

New Africa – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

Sign up for Chip Chick’s newsletter and get stories like this delivered to your inbox.

1 of 2