The Diderot Effect

Hello there 🙂

I’ve recently been having a bit of trouble controlling my impulses. As most of you well know, I’ve been going the minimalist route. A loose version of the colorful capsule wardrobe; AKA: I don’t have a lot of money, so I have very few quality pieces that currently fit.

I received a few new items for my birthday several months ago. 🙂 However, I’ve been noticing recently that I find myself wanting more. I catch myself perusing online shopping venues, walking through luxury store chains, searching for that perfect piece, made of 100% natural fibres, that I cannot afford yet desperately want to bring home with me. I’ve been questioning why I remain unsatisfied with the items I have.

Finally, I realized what was happening. This urge to buy all new, not just replace worn out items. Thus comes the Diderot effect. It’s a driving factor in consumerism and marketing firms depend upon it.

The Diderot Effect is a theory coming from Frenchman ___ Diderot in the 18th century. He wrote about this consumerist cause and affect theory when he received a nice new dressing gown as a gift from a friend. Diderot noticed, that when compared to his new dressing gown, his belongings looked shabby. He needed to replace his items, so as to match his new dressing gown. He went so far as to even replace the art in his home!

This compulsion to purchase. When 1 purchase leads to further purchases to ‘go with’ the original purchase, this is the Diderot effect. It can be a short term ‘over shop’ or a long term consistent need for new items, even when the original item is not worn out or damaged.

The question remains however, how do we break this cycle? When is enough, enough? Please share any ideas you have on this. If this is a standard problem, a logic issue, there HAS to be a well known way to counter our thinking. I just don’t know what it is.

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

*Photo Source: Pixabay, copyright free images