Advertising is a poison that demeans even love – and we’re hooked on it

But perhaps the most important impact explored by Think of Me As Evil? is the one we discuss the least: the effect it has on our values. Our social identity is shaped by values which psychologists label as either extrinsic or intrinsic. People with a strong set of intrinsic values place most weight on their relationships with family, friends and community. They have a sense of self-acceptance and a concern for other people and the environment. People with largely extrinsic values are driven by a desire for status, wealth and power over others. They tend to be image-conscious, to have a strong desire to conform to social norms and to possess less concern for other people or the planet. They are also more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression and to report low levels of satisfaction with their lives.

We are not born with our values: they are embedded and normalised by the messages we receive from our social environment.

Monbiot can verge on self-parody at times and I certainly frequently disagree with him. Generally, though, he seems to be one of the more interesting, rigorous and consistent guys in the car crash world of broadsheet columnists.

Advertising is a poison that demeans even love – and we’re hooked on it

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