The Diderot Effect

The Diderot Effect states that buying something new creates a spiral of consumption leading you to buy new things. Things that you never needed in the first place. Buying a brand new car, leading to buying car accessories that you did not need. This can be explained by breaking it down to two parts. The first is the initial need that triggers the purchase of something new. The second is the social and mental value we put on the new possession. For example, what would a new couch be any good, unless I upgrade the surrounding furniture. One reason for this could be the constant consumer favouring ads, influencers, and content that take up our attention these days. A consequence of this kind of an environment is that we almost never think about “downgrading” or “simplifying” our lifestyle. Now it’s always about “more”. Could this be because consumption is at the center of the economic machine and we still haven’t figured out a way to sustainably grow.

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