Do people mistakenly prioritise money-making in their lives? #2

Commenter Russell isn’t convinced by my survey evidence that the vast majority of people don’t rate making money as a top life priority. He argues that people may not tell the truth when asked questions in a survey. Maybe they don’t; maybe they don’t even recognise the truth about themselves.

But I still think my hypothesis is by far the more plausible one, and that the Schwartz/Eckersley/Russell [SER] hypothesis has no evidence beyond inferring attitudes from the consumer behaviour of other people.

Even if we start at this theoretical level, the SER thesis seems to me to be immediately in trouble. It requires that the desire for material things over-rides some hardwired aspects of human nature, such as the desires for intimacy, love, and companionship. While I imagine this is possible in some small number of individuals, it is hard to see how the ephemeral pleasures of shopping could cause a mass over-ride of the kind required.

Consistent with this theory, the behavioural evidence does not support the SER thesis. Continue reading “Do people mistakenly prioritise money-making in their lives? #2”