skip menus and go right to content

 SEARCH

 Other Search Engines
 Email This Page

 LifeWatch

 Notice Of Privacy Practice
 Provider Applications
 Tour this Site
 Your LifeWatch Plan
 About LifeWatch
 Our Mission
 Who we are
 Our Services
 Contact Us
 Feedback Form

LifeWatch Employee Assistance Program
1-800-333-6228
Or
TTT/TTY
1-800-745-5555


 NEWSLETTER

 Create, Edit or Delete Newsletter Accounts
Create edit or delete your newsletter account

 RESOURCES



 Main News Page
 Book Reviews
 Psychological Self-Help Book
 Self-Help Groups
 Tests & Questionnaires
 Symptoms
 Medication Information
 Video
 Glossaries
 Helpful Telephone Numbers

 SERVICES



 Conferences
 Continuing Education
 Licensure Information
 Academic Departments
 Medline Interface

 

Go to the Home pageGo to the Topics pageGo to the News pageGo to the Reading Room pageGo to the About Us pageGo to the Help page
 
 
Topic Home  Related:  
Seems Money Can't Buy Happiness, As Saying Goes
(China Daily; North American ed.)

Chinese incomes have increased tenfold over the past two decades, and with the new wealth have come better living standards and social progress.

Yet people are finding out that the age-old adage still applies: Money can't buy happiness.

In fact, some psychologists believe that many Chinese individuals have never been quite so bothered by psychological crises.

Recent media reports have recounted the case of a college student who became a murderer after a minor confrontation with peers, migrant workers committing suicide after failing to obtain overdue wages, members of the social elite falling into hypochondria (imagined illnesses) and government officials ruining their careers by succumbing to greed and taking bribes.

Behind these incidents is an unhealthy mentality of individuals who fail to deal with an abruptly changing society in this transitional period, said Wang Dengfeng, a psychology professor at Peking University.

China has been making a switch from a planned economy to a market economy since the early 1980s, during which the nation's prospects have boomed and social strata have been reclassified. Some have had greater opportunity for advancement.

Driven by manic pace

The market economy also created social "mania" for personal wealth and drove many people into business.

"Overnight, people felt they have in a sense become commercial goods on the shelves, willing to get market recognition and hopefully become the top-brand Coca Cola one day," Wang said.

Twenty years have been long enough to witness some successful stories. Leading a pressured-packed life, some have struggled for a while before finally excelling, Wang said.

"But then do they feel happy? No, they find they have become nothing but businessmen. Their lost identity imposed further mental afflictions on them."

For Chinese who did not go into business, their incomes might also have increased tenfold, or even hundredfold due to the economic boom. But psychological studies show their desires for things increased tremendously. In the process, their salaries could not cover their desires.

"Instead of feeling contented, they get frustrated," Wang acknowledged.

Uncertainty is another key element of the transitional era, a situation bothering the whole nation. When people do not have good expectations of the future, they tend to focus on short-term interests and become impulsive, said Hou Yubo, another psychologist with Peking University.

Combining social uncertainty and the worship of personal fortunes, some Chinese have behaved abnormally in this transitional period, Hou added.

Bribe-taking among officials has become a prominent social phenomenon since the market economy was put into place. From the psychological perspective, it is considered an impulsive act due to social uncertainty and pursuit of money, said Hou.

On another front, Chinese farmers' income increased a lot in the past two decades, but compared with other social classifications, they feel that the transitional period has been unfair to them.

"The accumulated resentment and dissatisfaction of farmers cannot be released normally through time, causing abnormal conduct," noted Hou. Psychologists are obliged to provide psychological assistance programmes to help people through inner conflicts.

Children also face severe issues. Wang Dengfeng holds abrupt social changes have outpaced the country's educational system, causing severe psychological crises for youths.

"Chinese education has become about making children and young people recite things, ignoring behaviour shaping lives and building up healthy mental states," said Wang.

Professor Uwe Gielen from the United States has long studied cross-cultural psychology. He suggested a programme geared to teach young mothers how to bring up children.

"Compared with other groups, children's behaviour is easier to modify," he said. "More important, they are the future of the country."

 

 NEWS

 Mexican-Americans Face Higher Stroke Risk

 LINKS

 [1] Associations
 [2] Information

 BOOK REVIEWS

 A Step From Heaven
 At Home in the Heart of Appalachia
 Bad Boy
 Bioethics
 Bronx Masquerade
 Cross-Cultural Topics in Psychology
 Cultural Assessment in Clinical Psychiatry
 Cultural Psychology of the Self
 Defining Difference
 Ethics, Culture, and Psychiatry
 Eyes of Sophia
 Handbook for Boys
 Holy War
 Jakarta Missing
 Khalifah
 Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian
 Mental Health Professionals, Minorities and the Poor
 Monster
 Multiculturalism and the Therapeutic Process
 Of Spirits & Madness
 Persepolis
 Power and the Self
 Psychiatry in Society
 Race
 Surviving Hitler
 The Lucifer Principle
 The Varieties of Religious Experience
 The Virgin Blue
 Touching Spirit Bear
 What the Buddha Felt