Of our modern marketplace, The Economist wrote: “Choice seduces the modern consumer at every turn.” But what happens when we stop consuming something? Does that make us want it more? Or less?
The question of whether something becomes more attractive the less you have of it depends on many factors. Having access to a favorite thing (for me, that’d be tomato soup) usually doesn’t decrease someone’s desire for it. Xianchi Dai and Ayelet Fishbach are authors ofa new study on this seemingly simple question: “When a product becomes temporarily unavailable, does desire for it increase or decrease over time?”
The gut reaction to reading that statement is probably: Yes! When something isn’t available, it’s logical to think that we’d miss it. It seems intuitive that being loss-averse humans, seeing the chance to have something disappear would be at least a bummer, and at most devastating. (Just look at the panic the forecasted chocolate shortage is causing.)
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