Would You Rather Get Something For Free or Pay For It?Did I mention that I’m writing a book about how we make and break habits? Oh yes, I think I did. It’s called Before and After, and it will be out next spring.

Here’s a habit-related issue that I’ve been pondering lately: the need to pay, or the ability to get something for free.

I think that these conditions can affect our habits.

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Would You Rather Get Something For Free or Pay For It?

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  1. I saw this title, thought it was analogous to the satisficer/maximizer dyad or somesuch, and went, “If there are really people who would *rather* pay for something than get it for free, I should go find out who they are and threaten to gift them something unless they pay me first.”

    Too bad that’s not actually the case…but it’s a very interesting discussion nonetheless. I’m glad to get validation for, “Yes, it’s ok to pay more for a one-off experience you’re unlikely to want to repeat; paying a lot in advance makes you (a) not go, or (b) spend more, if not both.” As a Rebel, I’d expect this to be even more true in my case…the more I’ve spent on something, the less I feel inclined to do/use it. I never understood before why all my most expensive investments and purchases turned out to be the least fulfilling; it seemed like I just had terrible judgment. Maybe there’s more to be said for bargain-hunting than simply getting a good deal: maybe, for some people, it makes you enjoy the thing itself more, too.

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