Psychology and Materialism


We know from research that materialism tends to be associated with treating others in more competitive, manipulative and selfish ways, as well as with being less empathetic […].

[M]aterialism is associated with lower levels of well-being, less pro-social interpersonal behaviour, more ecologically destructive behaviour, and worse academic outcomes. It also is associated with more spending problems and debt […].

We found that the more highly people endorsed materialistic values, the more they experienced unpleasant emotions, depression and anxiety, the more they reported physical health problems, such as stomachaches and headaches, and the less they experienced pleasant emotions and felt satisfied with their lives.


This article is based on excerpts from an interview with Tim Kasser, published December 16, 2014 on apa.org. Tim Kasser, PhD, is a professor of psychology at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, specializing in materialism and well-being. Special thanks to vox.com.

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4 thoughts on “Psychology and Materialism

  1. This short article defines, in a nutshell, the basic sickness of Western culture: why public education has plummeted into the proverbial toilet; why the increased violence; why obesity; why dwindling affordability of health care; why a cartoon character named Donald Trump can make a real, possibly successful, bid for presidency in the U.S.. This disease of materialism must now run its course until it destroys all “civilizations” reliant upon capitalism for their survival. Materialism will not end until natural resources and slave labour that make it possible are completely exhausted and can no longer bring a monetary profit to its proponents.

  2. I was just going to say that it sounded like Kuba was describing Donald Trump.

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