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The Biological And Psychological Drives Behind Consumerism

961 words - 4 pages

Most of us like to think that we are reasonable, rational, and independent thinkers and actors. Thus, we believe that we have a good enough reason for our choices. However, we often erroneously buy products succumbing to strange compulsion. It is a power of consumerism. The term consumerism is defined as the tendency of people to identify strongly with products they consume, particularly of name brands and status-enhancing appeal. Then, how does the power of consumerism win over our rationality? In this situation, we pretend to regard the primary cause of the impulse consumerism is the commercial seductions. The truth, however, is that the shopping indulgences does not originate from a manipulation of the commercial advertisements, but rather a biological and psychological drive planted in every one of us. The biological and psychological drives for our consumerism are evidenced by: in order to show off, to get rid of stress, and to follow the fashion.
Virginia Postrel explains about a reaction of Afghans when they get liberated after the Taliban fell. Although they are not been exposed of any “ubiquitous advertising or elaborate marketing campaigns” at all, consumerist impulses expressed as if they were “celebrating the end of tyranny by buying consumer electronics” (301). This reaction well shows the human desire aesthetic value and also the power of consumerism. In my case, the power of consumerism comes to the surface when I get to choose a product of between famous brand and no-name. I often make a decision to afford the cheaper one; and then with the profit –actually not a real profit– that I earn from buying the cheaper one, I tend to make a reasonable excuse to spend the remained money for the rest of the shopping. It is the most frequent pattern which finally is the same result of buying a “name-value” product. My pattern sounds like a more rational shopping habit, but it is only an excuse to make my own consuming pattern specious and prudent than that of extravagant people.
Many people think what you own is who you are; unless people think in this way, you might believe that people would think and judge you in this way. From this “displaying” conception, many people consume to show off their products and regard as if it can indirectly show their wealth. Moreover, this way of thinking leads to a “more is better” attitude, the fundamental of materialism. These people are likely to show off their expensive clothing, jewelry, or cars and in doing so believing it can make an impression on people, “She/he is rich”. This showing-off behavior is originated from gaining acceptance by others and is resulted as a fascination for buying objects that are famously branded. Appearances and looks are psychologically placed in people’s mind as important and valuable to be an attention-getter. Extremely, there are some people...

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