Thursday, August 7, 2014

An excuse to buy more ammo?

There has been, a pretty reasonably well proven, idea out there that buying more stuff doesn't make you happier in the long run.  So you buy your heavy barrel .17 varmint rifle with supper cool scope, and your happy for a moment.  But pretty quickly you absorb this new gadget into what makes you you, and your no happier than you when you started.

But if you buy experiences (Vacations seems to be a big one), you remember them better, and to some extent they actually reset your happiness quotient higher.  You are the not just the schlep that you were, you are the schlep who has cool vacations!

Well some sociologist had a thought.  What about buying items that are used to have experiences.

Actually, Some Material Goods Can Make You Happy
Rebecca J. Rosen, The Atlantic, 1 August 2014 (hat tip: MR)
Here's the problem, as Guevarra and Howell see it: In many studies, participants are asked to think about material items as purchases made "in order to have," in contrast with experiences—purchases made "in order to do." This, they say, neglects a category of goods: those made in order to have experiences,  such as electronics, musical instruments, and sports and outdoors gear. Do such "experiential goods," as Guevarra and Howell call them, leave our well-being unimproved, as is the case with most goods, or do they contribute positively to our happiness?
In a series of experiments, Guevarra and Howell find that the latter is the case: experiential goods made people happier, just like the experiences themselves.
Now of course, I am the one raising the firearms issue.

So as I see it, you don't need more weapons, you need more ammo and range time.  And if anyone asks you why your buying all that ammo, just tell them you are on the road to happiness.

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