Post-Materialism: People are increasingly motivated by values and higher order psychological needs.

Research has shown that, in the western world, people are increasingly motivated by “post-materialist” values (see work by Inglehart), meaning that physical concerns for safety, security, food, and other physical things is less of a concern.  Instead, people are more motivated to satisfy their values (see examples from my 2012 SXSW presentation on this subject).  Indeed, one the reasons that I am liberal is likely due to the fact that I don’t worry so much about security and physical needs and have a lot of existential angst about what the meaning of life is…for better or worse.  Increasingly, as war becomes less common and technology allows us to serve our physical needs better, I believe more and more people will seek post-materialist answers, and much of my research has this theme in it.

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