Subjective Well-being and Sustainable Consumption

By Necati Aydin.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper attempts to show that sustainable consumption depends on individual’s pursuit of subjective wellbeing or happiness. Under the influence of global consumer culture, people believe that the more they consume the happier they will be. Therefore, they keep spending more for greater expected pleasure. Paradoxically, with more and more consumption, people are achieving same or less happiness. This is neither desirable nor sustainable. Therefore, there is an urgent need to examine and modify the current hedonic happiness model, which is based on always more consumption, in order to achieve more happiness while reducing consumption to sustainable levels. This paper is an attempt to examine the relationship between current conspicuous consumption and the hedonic happiness model promoted by the global consumer culture. The paper offers an alternative happiness path compatible with human nature resulting in less and sustainable consumption that will increase both psychological and ecological well-being.

Keywords: Happiness, Capitalism, Happiness Crisis, Human Nature, Consumerism, Subjective Well-being, Happiness Theory, Sustainable Consumption

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp.133-148. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.256MB).

Dr. Necati Aydin

Director, Neuroeconomics and Well-Being Studies, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA

Dr. Necati Aydin currently works as the director of the Neuroeconomics and Well-being Studies at Florida State University. The program specializes in well-being studies both at individual and societal levels bringing experts from different subject matters to conduct qualitative and quantitative analysis of happiness related issues. Dr. Aydin received his bachelor’s degree in Public Finance, master’s degree in International Economics, and doctoral degrees in both Education and Economics. He has been working as a researcher since 2002. He has conducted research in variety of topics including local and state government budget analysis, economic impact studies, tourism, higher education, virtual education, information technology, Medicaid, and happiness. Dr. Aydin has completed over thirty research projects; authored six, translated two, and co-authored three books; and published many peer-reviewed articles. He also writes op-ed articles in Zaman, the most widely circulated Turkish newspaper. He has published several articles and book chapters on happiness in Turkish and English.

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