Exactly what is meant by materialism and who are the materialists? Most people equate materialism with consumerism, which is a factor for sure. But some consider any lack of recognizing the spiritual underpinnings of life and the interconnectedness of earthly and spiritual life forces as materialistic.
This is the category where most of our science and modern medicine exist. But it is is also where most of us are stuck in this illusory realm called reality.
A very memorable line from a favorite movie of mine, Little Big Man, is part of a conversation between the young white man living with Indians and the elder who had adopted him, who explains: "But the white man, they believe everything is dead. Stone, earth, animals. And people! Even their own people! If things keep trying to live, white man will rub them out."
In other words, from the aboriginal perspective, all of nature, animate and inanimate, manifests from a subtle energy that is essential to all of life. Some call it God, some call it universal intelligence, divine wisdom or the creative forces of nature. The white man (modern cultures) doesn't see it that way.
All things and most people must be replaced by man-made material invention or be greedily usurped and exploited while reducing the population. Modern pharmaceutical medicine is a perfect example of this shallow, short-sighted perspective that eliminates our connection to nature and the mystery of life.
It's easier to look into consumerism only for materialism's effects on human nature, as a recent study at Baylor University has done. It was titled "Why are materialists less happy? The role of gratitude and need satisfaction in the relationship between materialism and life satisfaction."
For the rest of the story: http://www.naturalnews.com/044923_materialism_depression_satisfaction.html