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


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.

Trending Today
The Adorkable Misogyny of The Big Bang Theory
22 min10,542 views today ·
Native American Girls Describe the Real History Behind Thanksgiving
2 min10,367 views today ·
In the Absence of the Village, Mothers Struggle Most
Beth Berry3,338 views today ·
Black Friday Is Buy Nothing Day: Here Are 10 Films to Inspire a Joyous Shopping-Free Holiday
Tim Hjersted3,066 views today ·
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min2,306 views today ·
This Is How Globalized Capitalism Operates Today
4 min2,077 views today ·
The Canary Effect: Kill the Indian, Save the Man (2006)
63 min1,942 views today ·
Revolution and American Indians: “Marxism is as Alien to My Culture as Capitalism”
Russell Means1,598 views today ·
Indigenous Knowledge Systems / Alaska Native Ways of Knowing
Ray Barnhardt and Angayuqaq Oscar Kawagley1,333 views today ·
Load More
Join us on Facebook
The Psychological Case Against Materialism