Dutch are becoming less materialistic but more self-centred

Around one third of the Dutch have taken a decision to become less materialistic, as more people accept the downturn in prosperity, according to the latest mentality monitor from researchers at Motivaction.

Fifteen years ago, 23% of the population said they had deliberately decided to adopt a less materialistic lifestyle but this has now gone up to 34%, the annual survey shows.

The research shows that possessions are becoming less important and people are more inclined to share cars and other items of value.

Some 43% accept they should take more responsibility for themselves and depend less on central government. People are also becoming less involved with what is happening in society as a whole. Instead, they look to support from a small group of friends, family and like-minded individuals.


Other signposts towards changes in the Dutch mentality include a shift towards self-expression via the social media, growing emphasis on the importance of dreams as a driver in personal lives, and a fascination with violence.

For example, the number of people who think violence on television should be limited has fallen from 82% to 68% over 15 years.

The mentality monitor is based on written replies from a representative sample of over 1,000 people and has been compiled every year since 1998.