Most of the clothes hanging in our closets are powerful evidence of just how horribly flawed our shopping impulses can be. Our brain was on fire with anticipation when we bought most of those clothes, but now they hang there undisturbed for months.
“What are the things we love most? The things we spend the most time working on. Brain scientist call this the “IKEA effect.”
There’s a neuroscience motivation behind the big-box retailer making us slog that heavy box to our car. There’s a brain-science strategy behind the 10,000 pieces they force us to meticulously assemble. Once we’ve toiled that hard on that bookcase, it isn’t just a piece of furniture anymore. It’s forever an icon of our own capabilities and genius.
I was running a little late getting back to my job as a stock boy at a local department store. As I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed a strange yellow glow on the horizon. I looked up in horror to see the store was on fire. Tanker trucks desperately pumped water onto the blaze hoping it would not engulf the whole shopping center.
So why does our tired little brain love experiencing an intense scare?
It’s a Drug Trip
The adrenaline rush of a scare instantly releases chemicals that can trigger a feeling of euphoria. You’ll often hear people laughing after a big scare because the body releases dopamine. And after the fearful situation ends, this high stays with us until our body metabolizes these powerful brain chemicals.