Matthew Madrid Brandon Bolasigh



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Matthew Madrid

Brandon Bolasigh

Brendan Black

UWRT 1102

Professor Rothwell


The Source of the River (What’s Going to Feed the Essay)

Gregoire, Carolyn. "The Psychology Of Materialism, And Why It's Making You Unhappy." The ----------- Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 15 Dec. 2013. Web. 28 Feb. 2015.

Black Friday is one of the most stressful days for most Americans, as many feel obligated to spend money of material gifts. Today’s adults have grown up in a different society as compared to their parents. The conception of materialism is embedded deep within their consciousness. Each year across the country, consumers spend thousands of dollars on merchandise on Black Friday. The number of cars, clothes and technology that Americans own in the 21st century is almost double than what the average American household owned in the 50’s. Despite this increase in materialism, happiness levels have reportedly stayed the same. This goes to show that money cannot buy happiness. Materialism also leads the competitive type-A behavior. People who are highly ambitious are driven by the “reward at the end of the tunnel”. There are positives and negatives associated with this character trait. People driven by consumerism are more likely to experience depression and anxiety in their later years. This source is very helpful because it is centered around the youth of American, with is the demographic group that we wish to research about. It will also be useful in providing statistical evidence while comparing and contrasting different time periods.

Howell, Ryan T. "What Causes Materialism in America?" Psychology Today. Psychology Today ------------- © 1991-2015 Sussex Publishers, 23 Mar. 2014. Web. 28 Feb. 2015.


We all have seen a pre-Grammy red carpet gala with all of Hollywood’s stars dressed to impress. Music videos feature artists wearing the latest fashions and tends, most of which is prestige priced and unaffordable for the average consumer. These are all stipulations that lead to American greed. According to Ryan T. Howell, materialism leads to depression and social anxiety. The main enforcer of materialistic behavior is the media. Magazines, TV shows and music glorify wealth. There is a link between the economic status of a certain neighborhood and the level of greed associated with each neighborhood. Research has shown that the economic group most vulnerable to over-spending and greedy ideology is those who are poor but are surrounded by the wealthy. These individuals are more likely to overspend with the scant resources they have and become infatuated with wealth. The probability that these individuals will end up bankrupt is very high. This source will be helpful when talking about how the media can influence the public’s compulsive desire to posses more. We want to focus a section of the project on how the media has a huge influence over consumers. This is evident in this article, as advertisements play a huge role in determining the level of materialism that one possess.
Monbiot, George. "Materialism: A System That Eats Us from the inside out." -------------------------------------- Http://www.theguardian.com. 9 Dec. 2013. Web. 28 Feb. 2015.

Materialism isn’t just an obsession with today’s youth; it has lead to psychological problems that stem deep within the minds of adolescents. Instagram is full of teenagers posting photos of them with the newest Rolex watches or Air Jordan’s. In this article, the author discusses how the possession over merchandise, such has cars, clothes and technology, creates a variety of psychological problems later down the road of life. One of the most notable examples that the author uses are the results of a psychological assessment on a group of eighteen year olds who reported having an obsession with merchandise. Twelve years at the ages of thirty, the same diagnosis was given results showed materialistic people were more susceptible to disorders. In conclusion, materialism decreases the level of happiness of each constituent. Children how grew up in wealthy homes entangled in materialism are more likely to be selfish and overly competitive as adults. Monbiot references multiple scientific studies on the issue. The stem of the problem relates back to childhood. We want to compose a section of the essay dedicated to the psychology of materialism and how it relates directly to the individual’s psychological past.



 Tatzel, Miriam. "Less Materialism Can Lead To Happier Consumers, Healthier Environment." --------------- University Herald RSS. 10 Aug. 2014. Web. 28 Feb. 2015.

Increased consumerism in recent decades has drained the planet of natural resources. Miriam Tatzel, a positive physiologist, argues that materialistic consumers tend to be unhappier because they spend more time worrying about their personal image than they spend creating and maintaining interpersonal relationships. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid shows the pattern of human motivation depending on independence, autonomy, self-acceptance, personal growth and social status. All of the levels of the pyramid represent stages of self-actualization in relation to happiness. Not a single level of the pyramid is a representation of materialism. Tatzel also argues that people who are frugal with money tend to be happier. Conversely those who spend tend to suffer from anxiety and constantly worry about accumulating debt. Society has set a high standard of wealth and fortune and those who are unable to attain it retort to working more and spending more. Spending less equals more happiness. This article is an extra source for facts. It will be usefull in providing second source for psychology studies and findings. One thing that this article has that I think will be great to incorporate into the final product is the reference to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Those who are found at the top of the pyramid are more than likely to be the most materialistic.

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