Why buying new gadgets can feel like a religious experience

Posted on May 9, 2016

Photo: flickr

The theory that our brains are wired to make us crave new technology is postulated by Sundeep Teki, a neuroscientist at the University of Oxford, who argues that our brains are genetically wired to seek needs such as security and social status. That act of seeking and realizing desire triggers activity in the reward network of the brain, located in a region called the striatum. This is followed by the release of a chemical called dopamine, which reinforces compulsive behavior.

In the modern world, most people are able to easily communicate their desires through information, social networking, photos, and music. “Not unsurprisingly, a neuroimaging study revealed that Apple products activate the same parts of the brain in its fans as religious images trigger in a person of faith,” Teki explains.

There are also other psychological reasons why we may crave to be up-to-date on technology and feel compelled to be the first to get it. Such as companies telling us that we should want them. Tim Cook described the apple watch as “unbelievably unique and very special” and that owning it would be the “ultimate experience.” Another reason we are drawn to new gadgets is hope. As a population that has witnessed incredible technological change in a short amount of time, we might be predisposed to hope that every technological innovation will revolutionize our lives.

Source material from Time

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