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.
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]