Summary of The High Price of Materialism
Materialism sows discontent and unhappiness while promising pleasure and freedom. But you – and society – can fight back.
This very short book demonstrates the truth of the proverb, “Money does not buy happiness.” Author Tim Kasser cites numerous studies as he makes a compelling case that materialists are lonely, narcissistic, hampered in relationships, compulsive, insecure and disconsolate. This excellent, necessary work should be required reading for every graduating student and mid-career executive or professional. It is not quite a self-help book, although the author does offer a chapter of advice on how people can attempt to change their ways and even to form a less materialistic society. This is not merely a psychological study, although it recapitulates numerous experiments. It is only in part a polemic against materialism. On the whole, it is a curious work, one that may be a bit too facile and popular in tone to satisfy the most rigorous academic reader, yet far too packed with source citations to appeal immediately to many casual readers. getAbstract appreciates this thorough presentation of evidence for a truth to which even the most ardent materialists (such as the Material Girl herself) pay reflexive lip service. No individual or society can legitimately ignore the fact that material success does not correlate with satisfaction or well-being but has a high correlation with low self-esteem, depression, divorce and various forms of abuse.
In this summary, you will learn
- Why money does not buy happiness
- How materialism kills the soul
About the Author
Tim Kasser is an associate professor of psychology at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.
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