Assume you’ve just purchased new clothing. You had no intention of purchasing a new coat. You were pleased with it until you put it on with the new shirt; nevertheless, you believe the new shirt makes the old coat appear worn. Not only that, but you succumb and purchase a new jacket. And you could therefore feel compelled to purchase new pants. Perhaps some new sneakers as well. Now, you’ll have a whole new wardrobe before you know it.
So, what exactly transpired in this situation?
You fell victim to The Diderot Effect, which is a fascinating phenomenon that most of us have encountered at some point in our lives, albeit unconsciously. It’s a mix of psychological and purposeful manipulation.
According to the Diderot Effect, acquiring a new possession typically triggers a consumption spiral that leads to the acquisition of even more new items. As a result, we wind up purchasing items that our prior selves never required in order to be happy or pleased.
A glimpse of the Diderot Effect
How can a single sample buy, or a single extravagance, become an entire way of life? According to study journals, the goal is to make the item a replacement rather than a buy. You’re not purchasing a soap dispenser; instead, you’re replacing your old, ineffective bathroom soap with a nice-looking, efficient soap dispenser. Are you aware that it’s possible to buy it as part of a set? And that it goes with a shower curtain? You’re not buying new shoes; you’re replacing an old pair with something simple and classic that you won’t be able to wear with jeans, so invest in some lovely skirts or slacks. Much of what we buy nowadays is a type of sampler for a whole lifestyle. People aren’t intended to buy better selves; they’re supposed to buy better selves. This necessitates repeat business.
Getting a hand on the Diderot Effect
“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”- Socrates
According to the Diderot Effect, there will be more things vying for your attention in your life, therefore you must learn to curate, eliminate, and focus on the things that matter.
- Reduce your exposure to the sun.
The majority of our actions are triggered by a subconscious habit. For example, we’re fast to buy products on discount, as though we feel obligated to do so because they’re on sale. The problem is that we might not have bought that item if it hadn’t been on sale – it’s the psychological trigger of the item being on sale that draws us in. Reducing the recurrence of such triggers in your daily life is one of the quickest methods to minimize the effectiveness of the Diderot Effect.
- Allow yourself to let go of your desires.
There will never be a point in your life when you are satisfied with what you have. There’s always something new to acquire. Invest in a new Honda? You have the option of upgrading to a Mercedes. Invest in a new Mercedes-Benz? Have you considered purchasing a private plane? Recognize that wanting is really a choice offered by your mind, not a command.
- Optimize through automating.
When your money is sitting right there, waiting to be spent every time you get a paycheck, it’s difficult to limit your spending at the mall or online. Instead, you can set up an automatic transfer of a portion of your income to your savings or investing accounts. This type of service is available from a variety of banks. It’ll be a lot easier to con them now that the spending money is out of sight (and in a better place).