Consumer psychology

Watch the film “Consumed: Identity and Anxiety in an Age of Plenty” (2011) available on Slate as well as “Films on Demand” on the Sheridan Library website and answer the questions below.

Part A – Background Information (10%)

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For this part of the assignment, you will identify key points from the film by answering the questions below. These answers will provide you with the necessary background information to complete the reflection in Part B (e.g., complete Part A before proceeding to Part B).

1. According to the film, what weird mental illness do we all suffer from?

2. Having taken care of the major threats to our survival, what two obsessions have people turned their minds towards? How does the economy try to capture these efforts?

3. According to advertisers, how can we compensate for below average traits? Why doesn’t this help to attract a spouse long-term?

4. Why do people still feel empty even though they have all this stuff?

5. According to the film, what has our globalized supply system caused us to lose touch with? Instead, what does the marketing revolution tell us to worry about?

6. What are some examples of how our ignorance of nature is exacting a terrible price on the planet? How must our psychological mindset change?

7. According to the film, when people discard products that still work in a utilitarian sense, what other things have broken? What changes in design and marketing would prevent people from falling out of love with products so quickly?

8. If people continue to play the zero-sum game, what will happen to the planet’s resources?

9. Instead of viewing our evolved tendencies as a sentence, what aspects of our psychology can we potentially change for the better?

10. According to the film, why are practices such as recycling and alternative power just attacking the symptoms?

Answers to each question should be clearly numbered and all questions answered completely. Answers may NOT be cut and pasted directly from the film. Instead, you can supplement direct quotes into your own structured sentences using quotation marks and in-text citations using APA format, as follows: Journeyman Pictures (2011) and/or (Journeyman Pictures, 2011).


Part B – Personal Reflection (20%)


1. Relevance to Personal Experiences (10 Marks) – How do the key points from the film relate to your own experiences? Share at least two distinct personal life experiences that relate to the film and explain their relevance. Specifically, what behaviours have you personally engaged in or witnessed in others (e.g. friends/family) that illustrate the key points – EXAMPLE?


2. Positive Changes in Thinking and Behaviour (10 Marks) – How has watching this film changed your mindset? Provide at least two distinct examples of ways in which your thinking and/or behaviour will be different in specific situations in the future. For example, how has your perspective changed when it comes to brand names, advertising, social status, and/or finding happiness? What factors might you consider before deciding to purchase or discard a product? What might you do differently when it comes to attracting or choosing a spouse?

Reflection answers must be clearly numbered. Each answer must consist of at least one (1) double spaced page of relevant reflection content (e.g., 2 double spaced pages in total) The format of the reflection is informal and you may write in first person (“I think”, “I believe”). Reflection responses must be your own and outside sources (e.g., internet) are not permitted.







Content – answers to questions in Part A are complete; Part B answers demonstrate relevant application of film concepts to one’s personal life.


30 marks


Format – spelling, grammar, punctuation, quality of writing, organization, adheres to page length & font/margin sizes; citations/reference provided in APA format.


10 marks




40 marks


All answers must be written in full sentence format (not point-form) using standard 1-inch margins and a font size of 12. This assignment is due in the Slate Assignment drop box in “.docx” format by the end of the scheduled course timeslot in Week 10. Only one (1) file submission will be accepted per student, therefore, do not submit the assignment until the final version is complete. Late papers will receive a 10% deduction per day late, as per Sheridan College policy. This is an individual assignment; submissions that are similar in expression will receive a grade of zero, as per Sheridan’s plagiarism policy. Please ensure that you provide the full reference to the film in APA format at the end of the paper, as follows:


Journeyman Pictures (Producer). (2011). Consumed: identity and anxiety in an age of plenty [Streaming video]. Retrieved from Films on Demand database.



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