Too nice for the likes of us: why buying fancy stuff makes us miserable

Too nice for the likes of us: why buying fancy stuff makes us miserable

An explanation of why you can’t “buy happiness” …

via the Guardian by Adrienne Matei

hopping is a faith-based activity – we buy non-essentials because we believe, to some extent, that they will improve our lives. At the very least, we trust an indulgent new purchase to spark some fleeting satisfaction before fading into the tedium of all our other stuff.

Yet according to research from Boston College and Harvard Business School, the psychological effects of buying a fancy new treat are often neither positive nor neutral. For most, owning luxury items actually make us feel bad.

Previous research supports the idea that luxury is appealing to consumers “because it promises status and confidence”, says Nailya Ordabayeva, study author and associate professor of marketing at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management. “But there has been limited research on how consumers actually feel when they consume luxury products, and we were interested in figuring out whether or not this confidence boost that’s promised by luxury in fact materializes, or are there unexpected consequences of indulging in luxury for consumers?”

 Impostor syndrome is a response to a world that doesn’t believe in women

To researchers’ surprise, despite consumers’ expectations that buying a Gucci belt or a Hermès scarf would prove a pick-me-up, they actually experienced a “dissonance between what luxury represents and who they truly are”, says Ordabayeva. “And that generated what we call the impostor syndrome of luxury consumption.”

The study determined that feelings of impostor syndrome are prevalent across age and income demographics. Two-thirds of all 1,000 research subjects, regardless of their income level, felt that sporting a luxury buy made them feel “inauthentic”, as if their true identity was at odds with the opulence the items projected…

… keep reading the full & original article HERE