Materials make us happy

August 24th, 2010 by | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Today, the writer of an article on Huffington Post, I Shop Therefore I Am: Can Objects Make Us Happy? explores how materials influence our feelings.  The biggest point the writer made is that objects are not merely served to be functional, but also to give us sentiments.  Dylan Kendall, the writer, provides a good example by explaining how a watch is more than just an item to tell time:

For example: When confronted with the need to buy a watch, a buyer may go to Amazon and find over 57,000 men’s styles ranging in price from $30 to $3,000. Each style operating on the exact same principle–a group of 12 numbers which respond to a system of time displayed on a “face” which is generally worn on a band around the wrist. We could all wear the same watch serving the same function but we don’t. Most of us chose a watch based on our lifestyle and how the watch makes us feel.

We make decisions about objects based on a set of emotional responses that are the result of stimuli both to our mind (conscious) and our brain (subconscious). And just as the watch example illustrates, there is a clear-cut emotional relationship between us and the products we chose. We chose objects that appeal to us either viscerally–because they look appealing; behaviorally–because they work well for us; or reflectively–because they represent us. But whatever aspect motivates our decision-making; we lead with an instinctual desire to have a positive or successful experience.

I couldn’t agree more that most of us do choose a watch and other items based on our lifestyle and how they make us feel.  I have a $200 watch from Toy Watch, and it sure does make me feel happy when I wear it not only because I can keep my head straight by being able to know the time, but also because the color of the watch is turquoise which is my most favorite color in the world, and the design is so beautiful to look at.  While $200 may seem to be steep, but it is worth it because it has been functioning very well since I purchased it a year ago, and I plan to keep it on my wrist for many more years to come.  Plus, when I wear it, I feel happy!

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