favourites, psychology, cognitive stuff and the brain

Diderot Effect

Denis Diderot was an 18th century writer who wrote a short piece called “Regrets for my old Dressing Gown”. You can read it here:


This led to what is known today as the Diderot effect which is defined in Wikipedia as:

The Diderot effect is a social phenomenon related to consumer goods which either posits that form culturally defines groups that are considered cohesive or refers to a process of spiralling consumption resulting from dissatisfaction induced by a new possession

Which is basically saying, you buy or get something nice and now you feel an urge to upgrade other things in your life.  How many of us are guilty of that?

Here’s my favourite quote from the piece:

I was absolute master of my old dressing gown, but I have become a slave to my new one.”


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