<body> Public Ad Campaign: Consumerism, Values, and What Really Matters: An Interview with Tim Kasser
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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Consumerism, Values, and What Really Matters: An Interview with Tim Kasser

Sometimes PublicAdCampaign can feel like an ongoing artist v advertiser grudge match whose only goal is to cause enough havoc on the streets to allow us all to sleep a little better at night. The truth is that our goal is to address advertisings use of public space because the repetitive consumption of commercial messages is doing serious harm to each one of us and by default the collective as well. Advertising, being the predominant media through which we ingest culture and our world view, is responsible in large part for the ways in which we prioritize our lives, set up our long terms goals, and live those lives right through to the end. Research suggests that the priorities advertising is instilling are hurting our minds and planet, so lets address the problem in order to alleviate some pretty heavy burdens as we prepare to address even larger issues like how we keep this planet breathing through 2050. 
New Dream talked with Tim Kasser, a recent addition to our Board of Directors, about his research on consumerism and people’s values, and how he tries to resist consumer pressures in his own life and family. Kasser is professor and chair of Psychology at Knox College in Illinois and the author of numerous books and articles on materialism, values, and goals.

How did you come to study issues of consumerism and values? Was there a defining moment that inspired you to investigate this topic so deeply for so many years?

When I was working on my Ph.D. in psychology in the early 1990s, I became interested in how people construct their lives. That led me to study people’s goals and what they were aspiring to create out of their lives. One day, I was running some statistics and getting ready to examine how personal well-being relates to prioritizing goals for money and possessions relative to other kinds of goals. I remember sitting in front of the computer thinking, “Wouldn’t it be interesting if people who cared more about goals for money and possessions were less happy?” More [HERE]

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