The American Dream: A State of Mind



In the last decade, American attitudes have undergone a shift brought on by a country that has faced significant change. Ten years ago the economy was quickly accelerating and producing a broad array of opportunities. The American Dream was alive and well with homeownership at an all-time high, the economy producing abundant jobs, and a force of people feeling that they had either achieved the dream, or were on their way to achieving it. Then the world was tilted on its side when the greatest economic event in more than 75 years unfolded, immediately throwing hundreds of thousands of people out of work and out of their homes. These historical occurrences have altered our nation’s cultural and social views and called into question one of the most fundamental beliefs – that in America if you work hard you have the potential to earn a good living, own a home, and care for your family both emotionally and financially.

After traversing the country interviewing in person more than 200 people, and then conducting a survey among a nationally representative sample of 1400 people, Lifestory Research reaches new conclusions about the condition and achievement of the American Dream.  “Our research on the American Dream found two major findings,” said Eric Snider, President and Chief Research Officer of Lifestory Research. “First, the American Dream is no longer defined as the accumulation of wealth and possessions. Instead, we found that the most important feature defining the American Dream today is the ability to achieve a happy and healthy mental life. Second, we found that happiness in life is in part based on the achievement of certain facets of the American Dream.”

Detailed information about the study can be found here.

Eric Snider