The new smell of technology makes us happy (but not so much)

The protagonist of the television series Mad men, Don draper, utters a phrase with a memorable air: "Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And do you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car."

But Draper is wrong about one thing: lHappiness is not provided by the smell of a new carAt least not too long.

Experiences about things

One of these studies on the convenience of acquiring a latest model smpartphone or a new experience was performed by psychologists Leaf van boven, director of the department of Psychology at Cornell University, and Thomas Gilovich, who surveyed a group of people about the shopping and experiences that had made them happier.

Most people remembered experiences with more satisfaction than material objects. Over time, material objects, from a new car to a dress, are degrading. But nevertheless, experiences tend to idealize with the perspective of the passage of time.

That is, although the acquisition of material objects can give us happiness in the short term, it will gradually decrease as we get used to the possession of the material object in question.

It will not take long to desire a new material object to repeat the initial sensation, and so on. Even our new car may stop smelling so good if our neighbor buys a better car.

However, when it comes to acquiring experiences (such as trips, concerts, eating out) the opposite happens: With the passing of time, the best moments lived with experience prevail in our memory, and each time we remember the experience, it is as if we partially return to it.

In addition, experiences are often shared with more people, are inherently social, but the objects are usually more individual: the social effect of the experiences contributes to provide greater well-being.