Agree to disagree? Harvard researchers claim expensive things make us unhappy


A recent study I came across by Harvard researchers has left me feeling…confused (I was also confused about my feelings of confusion). In recent findings by the brainiacs, buying expensive things doesn’t make you happy (or truly happy as they are pointing out). They say that buying expensive, exclusive items that the luxe brands sell case in point, a Hermes Scarf or a Chanel bag can actually make you miserable. I know why that would make me miserable, because such lavish outgoes would land me with no money at all. What happens with the rich who really can afford not one or two but many such expensive articles? Apparently, buying hi-end luxury stuff bestows upon the people who buy them a sense that they are more fortunate and privileged than others. This status symbol or social status that is acquired by the acquisition of certain products to display your good performance can also make you feel inauthentic. I am really not sure how that works as most people I see strutting with the best of things do seem rather pleased with their things if not their lives.


The study further states that the desire to buy these products to act out a lifestyle may give you the feeling of being inauthentic or pretentious. I can’t argue with the brains especially from Harvard, but my opinion is hardly in agreement with this. Does this sense of entitlement also apply in the case of people who are going to premium colleges and expensive institutes like Harvard? Isn’t it the exact same thing? Feeling superior because you come from a fancy Ivy League college? Do the students feel terrible about their degree too? I doubt it, let’s leave the shoppers alone to enjoy their success and spend their hard-earned (or inherited) money without having to be labeled inauthentic. It’s ok to enjoy the finer things in life without having to feel guilty about it.

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[Via: Fast Company]