The Psychological Case Against Materialism
The Psychological Case Against Materialism
By Melissa Dahl / nymag.com
Jan 10, 2015

Love of stuff will make you unhappy: You know this, and in case you forget, there is probably, somewhere, some version of A Christmas Carol playing on television right now to remind you. But in a release from the American Psychological Association, psychology professor Tim Kasser gives an interesting perspective from his research on just why placing a high value on stuff is no good. In a recent meta-analysis he published with colleagues from the University of Sussex, he found that materialism seems to undermine some of our deepest human needs. 

Specifically materialistic values are associated with living one's life in ways that do a relatively poor job of satisfying psychological needs to feel free, competent, and connected to other people. When people do not have their needs well-satisfied, they report lower levels of well-being and happiness, as well as more distress. 

Autonomy, competence, and relatedness are, according to a popular psychological theory of human happiness, three of our most basic psychological needs. We need to feel as if we have a certain amount of control over our lives; we need to feel as if we are contributing to our environments — to work, home, or elsewhere — and experiencing growth in that area by learning new skills; finally, we need to feel as if we belong somewhere. Focusing on acquiring more stuff is not going to help satisfy any of those needs, says Kasser. It's an interesting insight that comes at one of the most stuff-crazed times of the year.

AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION

3.8 ·
4
Featured Pay Per View Films
Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective (2015)
92 min
Within Reach (2013)
87 min
The Economics of Happiness (2011)
65 min
Trending Today
Born Sexy Yesterday: Another Gendered Hollywood Movie Trope That Needs to Die
18 min3,876 views today ·
How to Know When Holiday Drinking Is Hurting Your Brain
Jamie Smolen3,740 views today ·
87 Deeply Subversive Documentaries That Challenge the Status Quo
Films For Action3,348 views today ·
How Wolves Change Rivers
4 min1,956 views today ·
Black Snake Killaz: a #Nodapl Story (2017)
120 min1,933 views today ·
AI Has Already Taken Over - It's Called the Corporation
Jeremy Lent1,600 views today ·
Why Does Our Culture Focus So Much on Childbirth and So Little on The Time After?
Dr. Kathleen Kendall-Tackett1,150 views today ·
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min1,099 views today ·
Why the Documentary Must Not Be Allowed to Die
John Pilger1,092 views today ·
Load More


Love Films For Action? 

Films For Action empowers citizens with the information and perspectives essential to creating a more just, sustainable, and democratic society.

If you feel like you get some value from this library, consider making a donation today. Every little bit helps.

Join us on Facebook
The Psychological Case Against Materialism