What is Diderot Effect and how is it linked with our shopping habits? - letsdiskuss
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Medha Kapoor

B.A. (Journalism & Mass Communication) | Posted on | Entertainment


What is Diderot Effect and how is it linked with our shopping habits?


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Chef at Hotel Radisson | Posted on


Diderot was a nineteenth century Russian philosopher who went bankrupt and then was favored by then queen, Catherine. As the story goes, he bought a new red robe for himself and later, bought many other things to match the splendor of his robe. The buying of new robe turned into a trap and Diderot’s doom due to his materialistic addiction.


Diderot describes this in his essay Regrets for My Old Dressing Gown, the incident along with what later came to be known as “Diderot Effect” in philosophy, sociology, and psychology. It involves our identity which we tend to determine on the basis of goods we purchase; and how a slight deviation can allure us from entering into an inescapable chain of the whole new goods which will develop a new identity for us.


This will look familiar to you. Once you have bought a new dress, you would find yourself wanting matching shoes with that and other accessories too. This is just a small example, put forward to suggest a rather complex situation. Human needs are never-ending, as various philosophies suggest. Even Buddhism tells us to give up desire as it leads to destruction.  

It’s “Diderot Effect” which becomes the basis of capitalism feeding on consumer paranoia.

Letsdiskuss


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