Why do products please us less than experiences?

The always-interesting Katja Grace links to some explanations and comments on this issue; here is Katja:

We compare products more than experiences, and since products are doomed to not be the best we could ever have got, we are sad. When we don’t compare, we are happy.

This requires one of two things:

  1. that when we can’t compare something, we assume it is better than average
  2. that we find knowing how something compares displeasing in itself unless the thing is the best.

Either of these seem like puzzling behaviour. Why would we do one of them?

A related reason is that we are more like to reevaluate products, which sit around and get reused and become less novel, than we are to fundamentally reevaluate experiences.


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