Psychology of Ownership

This article popped up on my blogreader in the Personal Finance section. But I think it’s kind of important for those of us Christians who live in prosperous, capitalisim-driven nations where the desire to continually accumulate is almost as ingrained as the need to breathe.

A pertinent excerpt:

So the high price we tend to put on our own possessions is not just greed, we really do begin to perceive stuff in a different way once we own it. Unfortunately these biases open us up to all sorts of detrimental effects.

We might set unrealistic prices for things we’re trying to sell, resulting in us failing to sell them at all. Or, when buying, we can be suckered into virtual or partial ownership en route to full ownership of something we didn’t necessarily want in the first place.

The solution to these problems is trying to think objectively.Of course the solution to these problems is trying to think objectively about our own possessions and those that we’d like to acquire. But that’s easier said than done. It’s very difficult to be dispassionate when selling something that you treasure and it’s easy to form an imaginary relationship with something we want to own.


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