In this short animation, psychologist Tim Kasser discusses how America's culture of consumerism undermines our well-being. When people buy into the ever-present marketing messages that "the good life" is "the goods life," they not only use up Earth's limited resources, but they are less happy and less inclined toward helping others.
The animation both lays out the problems of excess materialism and points toward solutions that promise a healthier, more just, and more sustainable life.
To learn more about the relationship between materialism and well-being, read our August 2011 interview with Tim Kasser, "Consumerism, Values, and What Really Matters."
For a list of sources for the studies referenced in the video, click here.
The High Price of Materialism was produced by New Dream. The video was supported in part through funds awarded by Knox College from an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Faculty Career Enhancement Grant. The views expressed in this visualization do not necessarily represent the views of Knox College or the Mellon Foundation. Thanks also to MIT Press for their support and to Hali Engelman of WVKC for help in recording.