Oliver James - Affluenza | SchoolsWorld

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Oliver James - Affluenza

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Controversial psychologist Oliver James believes that there is a direct causal relationship between mental health and affluence. He believes that the materialistic values that place having above being are a fundamental cause of mental illness.

In his outspoken RSA lecture, James argues that there is little significant genetic basis for mental illness and that most mental illness is a result of nurture and bad parenting. He makes the case that there is a positive correlation between those that value materialism highly with high rates of depression, anxiety, substance abuse and narcissistic personality disorders.

James cites various international examples of mental pathologies related to people who suffer from the 'Affluenza Virus', when people place a high value on money, possessions, appearance, social status and fame.

After the lecture, a group of teachers reflect on his thoughts and how alternative value systems and outlooks on life can be fostered within schools.

Part of the series: RSA Lectures

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