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.
Consumerism is a social and economic order that encourages the acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amounts. With the Industrial Revolution, but particularly in the 20th century, mass production led to overproduction—the supply of goods would grow beyond consumer demand, and so manufacturers turned to planned obsolescence and advertising to manipulate consumer spending. In 1899, a book on consumerism published by Thorstein Veblen, called The Theory of the Leisure Class, examined the widespread values and economic institutions emerging along with the widespread "leisure time" at the beginning of the 20th century. In it, Veblen "views the activities and spending habits of this leisure class in terms of conspicuous and vicarious consumption and waste. Both relate to the display of status and not to functionality or usefulness."
In Marxist philosophy, the term commodity fetishism describes the economic relationships of production and exchange as being social relationships that exist among things and not as relationships that exist among people. As a form of reification, commodity fetishism presents economic value as inherent to the commodities, and not as arising from the workforce, from the human relations that produced the commodity, the goods and the services.
The term culture industry was coined by the critical theorists Theodor Adorno (1903–1969) and Max Horkheimer (1895–1973), and was presented as critical vocabulary in the chapter "The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception", of the book Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947), wherein they proposed that popular culture is akin to a factory producing standardized cultural goods—films, radio programmes, magazines, etc.—that are used to manipulate mass society into passivity. Consumption of the easy pleasures of popular culture, made available by the mass communications media, renders people docile and content, no matter how difficult their economic circumstances. The inherent danger of the culture industry is the cultivation of false psychological needs that can only be met and satisfied by the products of capitalism; thus Adorno and Horkheimer especially perceived mass-produced culture as dangerous to the more technically and intellectually difficult high arts. In contrast, true psychological needs are freedom, creativity, and genuine happiness, which refer to an earlier demarcation of human needs, established by Herbert Marcuse.
In sociology, postmaterialism is the transformation of individual values from materialist, physical, and economic to new individual values of autonomy and self-expression.
Economic materialism can be described as either a personal attitude that attaches importance to acquiring and consuming material goods or as a logistical analysis of how physical resources are shaped into consumable products.
Ecopsychology is an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary field that focuses on the synthesis of ecology and psychology and the promotion of sustainability. It is distinguished from conventional psychology as it focuses on studying the emotional bond between humans and the Earth. Instead of examining personal pain solely in the context of individual or family pathology, it is analyzed in its wider connection to the more than human world. A central premise is that while the mind is shaped by the modern world, its underlying structure was created in a natural non-human environment. Ecopsychology seeks to expand and remedy the emotional connection between humans and nature, treating people psychologically by bringing them spiritually closer to nature.
Self-determination theory (SDT) is a macro theory of human motivation and personality that concerns people's innate growth tendencies and innate psychological needs. It pertains to the motivation behind people's choices in the absence of external influences and distractions. SDT focuses on the degree to which human behavior is self-motivated and self-determined.
Anti-consumerism is a sociopolitical ideology that is opposed to consumerism, the continual buying and consuming of material possessions. Anti-consumerism is concerned with the private actions of business corporations in pursuit of financial and economic goals at the expense of the public welfare, especially in matters of environmental protection, social stratification, and ethics in the governing of a society. In politics, anti-consumerism overlaps with environmental activism, anti-globalization, and animal-rights activism; moreover, a conceptual variation of anti-consumerism is post-consumerism, living in a material way that transcends consumerism.
Freudo-Marxism is a loose designation for philosophical perspectives informed by both the Marxist philosophy of Karl Marx and the psychoanalytic theory of Sigmund Freud. It has a rich history within continental philosophy, beginning in the 1920s and 1930s and running since through critical theory, Lacanian psychoanalysis, and post-structuralism.
"Youth Marketing" is a term used in the marketing and advertising industry to describe activities to communicate with young people, typically in the age range of 11 to 35. More specifically, there is teen marketing, targeting people age 11 to 17, college marketing, targeting college-age consumers, typically ages 18 to 24, and young adult marketing, targeting ages 25 to 34.
Ariel Salleh is an Australian sociologist who writes on humanity-nature relations, political ecology, social change movements, and ecofeminism.
Cultural materialism in literary theory and cultural studies traces its origin to the work of the left-wing literary critic Raymond Williams. Cultural materialism makes analysis based in critical theory, in the tradition of the Frankfurt School.
A goal or objective is an idea of the future or desired result that a person or a group of people envision, plan and commit to achieve. People endeavour to reach goals within a finite time by setting deadlines.
The Paradox of Choice – Why More Is Less is a book written by American psychologist Barry Schwartz and first published in 2004 by Harper Perennial. In the book, Schwartz argues that eliminating consumer choices can greatly reduce anxiety for shoppers. The book analyses the behavior of different types of people. This book argues that the dramatic explosion in choice—from the mundane to the profound challenges of balancing career, family, and individual needs—has paradoxically become a problem instead of a solution and how our obsession with choice encourages us to seek that which makes us feel worse.
The six-factor model of psychological well-being is a theory developed by Carol Ryff which determines six factors which contribute to an individual's psychological well-being, contentment, and happiness. Psychological well-being consists of self-acceptance, positive relationships with others, autonomy, environmental mastery, a feeling of purpose and meaning in life, and personal growth and development. Psychological well-being is attained by achieving a state of balance affected by both challenging and rewarding life events.
Cultural differences can interact with positive psychology to create great variation, potentially impacting positive psychology interventions. Culture differences have an impact on the interventions of positive psychology. Culture influences how people seek psychological help, their definitions of social structure, and coping strategies.
Employee experience design is the application of experience design in order to intentionally design HR products, services, events, and organizational environments with a focus on the quality of the employee experience whilst providing relevant solutions for an organization. EED is one of the core components of Employee experience management that emphasizes understanding and fulfilling employees' experiential needs.
Motivation and Personality is a book on psychology by Abraham Maslow, first published in 1954. Maslow's work deals with the subject of the nature of human fulfillment and the significance of personal relationships, implementing a conceptualization of self-actualization. Underachievers have a need for social love and affection, but a self-actualized person has these "lower" needs to be gratified and is able to pursue his or her own path towards self-actualization.
Historical materialism is Karl Marx's theory of history. Marx locates historical change in the rise of class societies and the way humans labor together to make their livelihoods. For Marx and his lifetime collaborator, Friedrich Engels, the ultimate cause and moving power of historical events are to be found in the economic development of society and the social and political upheavals wrought by changes to the mode of production. It provides a challenge to the view that historical processes have come to a close and that capitalism is the end of history. Although Marx never brought together a formal or comprehensive description of historical materialism in one published work, his key ideas are woven into a variety of works from the 1840s onward. Since Marx's time, the theory has been modified and expanded. It now has many Marxist and non-Marxist variants.
Climate psychology is a field that aims to further our understanding of the psychological processes that occur in response to climate change and its resultant effects. It also seeks to promote creative ways to engage with the public about climate change; contribute to change at the personal, community, cultural, and political levels; support activists, scientists and policy makers to bring about effective change; to nurture psychological resilience to the destructive impacts of climate change happening now and in the future.