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Consumerism: Annotated Bibliography

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Kasser, T., Ryan, R. M., Couchman, C. E., & Sheldon, K. M. (2004). Materialistic values: Their causes and consequences. Psychology and consumer culture: The struggle for a good life in a materialistic world, 11-28.


The “Materialistic values: Their causes and consequences,” article by Kasser and colleagues, argues that the materialistic nature of the world is due to changing economic systems which “require the production and purchase of ever increasing amounts of goods.” (Kasser et al., 2004). Individuals are materialistic because of their feelings when acquiring new items linked to personal insecurity. Role models inspire materialistic values of purchasers who look up to them. Media advertisements encourage a buyer to get a particular item. Higher levels of materialistic value orientation (MOV) help people to compensate for personal doubts and worries, enhances the ability to successfully deal with challenges, and enhance personal safety in a comparatively erratic world (Kasser et al., 2004). Kasser and Kanner discuss that people having higher levels of MOV often experience episodes of anxiety and depression. Additionally, these people have decreased the quality of life and are more concerned with consumption activities rather than concentrating on being part of the community and connecting with friends and members of the family. Most consumers in the current society purchase items to feel good and even attain acceptance. Therefore, this article offers evidence and facts from a psychological point of view of various consumers at different ages. The consequences and causes of consumerism are clearly analyzed.

Kasser, T. E., & Kanner, A. D. (2004). Psychology and consumer culture: The struggle for a good life in a materialistic world. American Psychological Association.

The consumption behavior of children is hugely influenced by advertisements, television, and media. Children have no protection from the contents they watch on television, for instance, alcohol and tobacco advertisements, as well as toys related to violence (Kasser & Kanner, 2004). Many additional products and foods are connected to movie and television characters. Children are unable to differentiate what they watch on television from the real world occurrences. Various media have led to a rise in annual violence, an increase in obesity, consumerism and happiness connection (Kasser & Kanner, 2004). Based on research, it is evident that most parents reward their kids or make them happy by taking them to fast food restaurants or by purchasing toys for them. In certain countries, television advertisements are regulated to protect children from negative influences of illegal substances and violence. Consumerism is a huge problem for kids because some marketers mainly target kids (Kasser & Kanner, 2004). The article offers information on how the development of children in a media environment can affect the acquired level of materialistic value.

Bindah, E. V., & Othman, M. N. (2012). The impact of religiosity on peer communication, the traditional media, and materialism among young adult consumers. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 2(10), 480.

The definition of consumerism according to Bindah and Othman is linked to diverse perceptions of “value orientation, personality traits, cultural frameworks, and a way of life” (Bindah & Othman, 2012). This implies that consumerism is an act of acquiring distinct needs and is influenced by numerous factors. In the article, Bindah and Othman carry out a study and came to a conclusion that religious orientation and family communications hugely influence the level of family consumerism. The aim of the study was to compare the distinctions between different peer communication and religious groups, materialism, and traditional media among Malaysian young adult consumers (Bindah & Othman, 2012). The questions utilized relates to their religious values and family, in addition to personal experiences when purchasing a material object. Religious families always tend to have custumes that communicate values which guide them in their day-to-day lives. Purchase of costumes decreases the personal materialistic value and consumption level (Bindah & Othman, 2012). This article presents various data obtained from interviewing young adults’ consumers. Additionally, this article will help to understand consumer behavior of young adults based on different religious orientation.


These three articles discuss various factors that influence the level of consumerism. There are numerous factors that influence the consumption and purchasers’ behavior, for instance, media influence, peer communication, religious orientation, and influence from icons. Numerous advertisements of alcohol and drugs influence purchase behavior. The more advertised a product is the more children want to try it (Kasser & Kanner, 2004). The level of materialistic value of a person increases when a person wants to improve their personal value (Kasser et al., 2004). The consumption behavior of children and young adults is often high because they want to promote their self-worth. Bindah and Othman focus on the relationship between materialism and religion. People with certain religious beliefs have specifics sets of items to purchase (Bindah & Othman, 2012). In summary, all the three articles aid in understanding factors that influence consumerism among children and young adults.

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