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And so are you, if you are Human of the genus Homo sapiens.
Its a terribly psychiatric sounding word isn’t it? But all it means is that you love and want new things. I could have entitled it “Why new things make us feel good,” but Neophiliac is catchier. Look it up. Save you the bother : – “love of or enthusiasm for what is new or novel.”
It stems from our remote ancestral past when we were roaming the world. To survive early man had to travel, constantly seeking shelter and new sources of food. After millenia it became hard-wired into our DNA. It is an exclusively human characteristic.
It accounts for why we feel the need to climb mountains – to explore – “to go where no man has gone before.” To go on holiday, travel the world. To collect things. To ……. shop.
So there we are. We are hard-wired to seek novelty. Marketeers and product creators exploit this flaw in our make-up to sell us things we don’t really need. When we search for something new we get a dopamine hit. Dopamine- that “reward chemical” is actually more closely related to our motivation to seek rewards rather than being the reward itself. Our brain reacts to novelty by stimulating us to search for a reward. It’s a non-ending positive feedback loop. No wonder browsing for new clothes is such fun. And so rewarding? We can’t help ourselves. It’s Fred Flintstones fault.
That new must-have, OMG it’s perfect! Emerald green skirt we are longing to climb into with trembling fingers after waiting with anticipation and excitement, is an example of this behaviour. Our vast collection of knickers and bra’s is another. And wigs, and shoes and so on…….
But after 6 months it has barely been worn. What happened to that perfect skirt? Nothing of course. The skirt hasn’t changed – you have. You have bought something new.
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