Ecological Challenges, Materialistic Values, and Social Change

  • Tim Kasser


Earth’s ecology faces significant challenges, including climate disruption, pollution, and habitat loss. Substantial research suggests that these challenges are exacerbated by humans’ strong desires for money, wealth, possessions, image, and status. I therefore present an empirically-based, two-pronged approach to decrease how much people and society focus on self-enhancing, materialistic aims: (a) remove the known causes of a strong materialistic orientation (i.e., social modeling and insecurity); and (b) promote the self-transcendent, intrinsic values which stand in opposition to materialism. This approach is applied to four concrete areas for social change action: voluntary simplicity, time affluence, restrictions on advertising, and adjustments to the capitalistic economic system.


Ecological Footprint Social Model Ecological Sustainability Material Affluence Ecological Degradation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Knox CollegeGalesburgUSA

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