Americans now live in a time and a place in which freedom and autonomy are valued above all else and in which expanded opportunities for self-determination are regarded as a sign of the psychological well-being of individuals and the moral well-being of the culture.
Shoppers Kelly Foley, Debbie Winslow and Ann Rich use a smartphone to look at a competitor’s prices whilst in a Target store in South Portland, Maine on Black Friday: photo by Robert F Bukaty/AP via The Guardian, 28 November 2014
This article argues that freedom, autonomy, and self-determination can become excessive, and that when that happens, freedom can be experienced as a kind of tyranny.
Women flip through a coupon book at Toys R Us in New York on Black Friday: photo by Andrew Burton via The Guardian, 28 November 2014
The article further argues that unduly influenced by the ideology of economics and rational-choice theory, modern American society has created an excess of freedom, with resulting increases in people's dissatisfaction with their lives and in clinical depression.
Who has taken advantage of our @PennySkateboard deal for #BlackFriday so far: image via Tilly's @Tillys, 28 November 2014
One significant task for a future psychology of optimal functioning is to deemphasize individual freedom and to determine which cultural constraints are necessary.
Customers at the tills of a Walmart store in Bentonville, Arkansas on Black Friday: photo by Gunnar Rathbun/Invision for Walmart via the Guardian, 28 November 2014
text: Self-Determination: The Tyranny of Freedom (Abstract): Barry Schwartz, American Psychologist, 2000
I camped out overnight for #Black Friday! Took this shot with my iPhone from the parking lot: image via John Sowers @johnsowers , 28 November 2014
Britain doesn't need #Black Friday. Sadly, since it's a materialistic consumer-fest driven by greed, it's here to stay: image via Archbishop Cranmer @His_Grace, 28 November 2014