Is it worth it? Decision making when shopping isn't so simple.
Is it worth it?
No matter what we ask this question about, how we come to an answer isn’t simple.
Neuroeconimics is a thing. It’s a field that represents the confluence of psychology, economics, and neuroscience in the study of human decision making. Scientist can measure how much you value something by looking inside your brain with an MRI. They can measure your preferences and predict your decisions. Wild, perhaps not surprising?
But why do we value something a little or a lot, why we make the decisions we do?
It’s our life experiences that help shape how we make decisions, how we come to our answers. The generations before us, cultures far and near also play a role.
The history of adornment is vast and complicated.
It’s one of the reasons I continue to be intrigued and interested in the field I’m in.
(IT’S ALSO ONE OF THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECTS OF MY JOB.)
Perceived value is a real thing. So is marketplace value and sentimental value.
Case in point is this necklace above. No price tag would be enough for me to part with it. It’s a piece I made around age 7 and it represents so much to me. And trust me, as a jeweler, I know that adding a few small diamonds or a splash of gold changes the perceived value of any piece of jewelry. I’ve seen it in action. And, I’ve bought gold too. Desired since ancient times, modern cultures cannot escape its lures. It’s become a commodity, traded in the market, with values that fluctuate day to day, that correlate with abstract or understandable reasons.
TO SAY THE LEAST, WHAT WE VALUE AND HOW WE ANSWER THE QUESTION, “IS IT WORTH IT'‘ IS A COMPLICATED THING
I find great pleasure in beautifully made and realized things, natural materials that are nice to touch, imperfections that show the human hand as well as the mind. I’d much prefer to spend more money and purchase something from a small business, is connected to humans I can have a relationship with, humans who have ethics that significantly align with mine, and who are passionate about the process as well as the results… To me, this is where I want to spend my precious dollars. To me, this is a small way that I can have social impact. ‘Things’ make their way into my life, or are gifted to another, and stick around for a long time. That’s worth more money to me.
SO, how do you choose what’s ‘worth it’ to buy or not?
What do you want to live with, care for, use to communicate YOU?
What values are you prioritizing when you make a purchase?
How do you navigate convenience with your longterm needs and/or desires?
The holiday gift giving season always makes me fascinate on these questions
Take a pause and ask yourself what are your top questions this holiday season to help you answer, “Is it worth it?”
I’d love to hear what you come up with! Leave a comment below.