Tim Kasser

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Tim Kasser (August 1, 1966) is an American psychologist and book author known for his work on materialism and well-being.



Kasser received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Rochester in 1994, and after one additional year of teaching at Montana State University, he accepted a position at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, where he was a professor of psychology. He retired from Knox in 2019 and was named Emeritus Professor.

He has authored over 120 scientific articles and book chapters on materialism, values, goals, well-being, and environmental sustainability, among other topics. His first book, The High Price of Materialism, was published in 2002 ( ISBN   978-0262611978); his second book (co-edited with Allen D. Kanner), Psychology and Consumer Culture, was released in 2004. In 2009 he co-authored a book (with Tom Crompton) Meeting Environmental Challenges: The Role of Human Identity. In 2013 he wrote Lucy in the Mind of Lennon, a psychological biography that explores the meaning of John Lennon's song, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Most recently, in 2018, he collaborated with the cartoonist Larry Gonick on HyperCapitalism: The modern economy, its values, and how to change them. Kasser's books have been translated into ten languages.

Since the early 2000s, Kasser has consulted with activist and civil-society organizations who work against the commercialization of children and who work towards a more inwardly rich lifestyle than what is offered by consumerism. While at Knox College, Kasser lived with his wife, two sons, and assorted animals in the western Illinois countryside; he now lives in the Southern Tier region of New York state.[ citation needed ]


Kasser initiated a line of research showing that people who pursue intrinsic goals for personal growth, affiliation, and community feeling report higher well-being than those focused on extrinsic goals for money, image, and status. [1]

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  1. "Nine Scientists Share Their Favorite Happiness Practices". Greater Good. Retrieved April 26, 2023.
  2. Tom Crompton (August 2011). "Finding Cultural Values That Can Transform the Climate Change Debate". Solutions. Vol. 2, no. 4. Archived from the original on April 2, 2012. Retrieved April 26, 2023.