YOUR spending is bad, but mine is good
May 09th, 2010 - 85 Comments
Isn’t it interesting how hypocritical we are about money?
We say things like…
- “That’s ridiculous. Who needs a $200 dinner? That would feed me for 3 months.”
- “She bought $400 shoes? What a waste of money.”
- $21,000/year going out? There are starving children in Africa.”
Yet when it comes to our new iPad or computer or trip, it’s different.
We look at others’ spending and deride it as frivolous and unnecessary, yet we use cognitive dissonance and other mechanisms to justify our own spending. And we’d never expose our spending to the light of outside scrutiny.
I’m working on a monster post about how hypocritical we are with money — and especially how we believe that “money=evil” in America. If you have any stories to share, let me know in the comments below. Have you judged others for their spending? Been judged? What do you think of someone paying $1,000/night on a hotel room or $500 on a pair of jeans? What about an iPad?
Stay tuned for the larger post.
[Update] The largest post is up here: Attention annoying hypocrites: Stop being judgmental about your friends’ money habits
Odds and ends…
If you’re interested in the single-best book on how we’re cognitively wired to blame others but not ourselves, read Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts by social psychologist Eliot Aronson (whose class was one of the best I took at Stanford). It is absolutely chock-full of psychological insights and will give you tools to analyze/understand friends and co-workers in virtually every social situation.
Also, you might notice some minor design changes that rolled out on iwillteachyoutoberich.com last night. We’re doing ongoing testing.
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