"The more television individuals watch, the more materialistic they apparently become," writes L. J. Shrum (University of Texas--San Antonio).
Of note, say the authors, is the growing American dedication to television viewing--an important piece of information for public policy officials concerned about television's effects. These officials are concerned with the messages conveyed and learned through the television watching experience. But more than just teaching bad habits, the authors argue that television is actually indoctrinating or 'cultivating' its watchers into a world of materialism. In this instance, American moral fabric is being rewoven into a troubling pattern.
"Predominant theories of television influence would suggest this is due, in part, to a cultivation effect. That is, television tends to glamorize affluence, and individuals who watch a lot of television gradually come to incorporate these 'televised' values into their personal values structures," the authors conclude.
Shrum, L.J., James E. Burroughs, and Aric Rindfleisch. "Television's Cultivation of Material Values." Journal of Consumer Research, Dec. 2005.