Some costs of AmericaN Corporate Capitalism: A Psychological Exploration of Value and Goal Conflicts

Tim Kasser, Steve Cohn, Allen D. Kanner, Richard M. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

300 Scopus citations

Abstract

Psychology rarely examines the effects of economic systems on people's lives. In this target article, we set out to explore some of the costs of American corporate capitalism and its focus on self-interest, competition, hierarchical wage labor, and strong desires for financial profit and economic growth. Specifically, we apply recent cross-cultural research on goal and value systems (Schwartz, 1996; Grouzet et al. 2006), as well as a variety of other types of evidence, to demonstrate how the aims and practices that typify American corporate capitalism often conflict with pursuits such as caring about the broader world, having close relationships with others, and, for many people, feeling worthy and free. We hope that by bringing to light the value and goal conflicts inherent in this economic system, psychologists might begin to systematically investigate this pervasive yet paradoxically ignored feature of contemporary culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalPsychological Inquiry
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2007

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