Re-training the “Me Generation”

Tim Kasser, psychlology, comments on why teens want more and more.


Why are young people materialistic? Psychologists cite advertising — we’re bombarded with hundreds of messages every day — but say that conspicuous consumption most often begins at home.”It’s about beliefs, values and goals,” says Timothy Kasser, a professor at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., who studies the psychological underpinnings of desire.

Materialistic parents tend to raise kids who follow a fashion-conscious line. “They view materialism as a pathway to satisfy their needs, and advertising supports that,” Kasser notes. “Ultimately, it’s unsatisfying. They’re pursuing a style of life that might give them temporary uplifts, but it’s not going to solve problems in the long term.”

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