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Diderot Effect

The Diderot effect is a term used to describe the impact of acquiring a good so superior in quality and style to one that is currently owned by a consumer that this good immediately renders the current item, along with all others used in the same context as the item, unacceptable. The term has its roots in an essay written by the French Enlightenment scholar Denis Diderot in 1769 and first published in 1772. In this essay, which Diderot never shared during his lifetime, the author ruminates on the fact that a new scarlet dressing gown has spurred him to completely transform his shabbily furnished study into a room with objects that are more congruent in taste and style with this luxurious new gift. In ...

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