A taste of the high life will leave you feeling low

Living in luxury might sound like a good idea, but when its whisked away it doesn't feel good.
Photo / Thinkstock
Living in luxury might sound like a good idea, but when its whisked away it doesn't feel good. Photo / Thinkstock

Many people dream of driving fast cars, drinking champagne and taking luxury holidays.

But, having a taste of the high life can leave people depressed, according to new research.

This is because getting the chance to drive a Ferrari or upgrade to first class on a flight only has a short-lived feel-good effect.

And the return to reality afterwards is more depressing than never having the experience in the first place.

An experiment by researchers at Belgium's Ghent University found those who get the chance to own luxury products or brands have high levels of "subjective well-being."

In other words, they feel good about themselves.

But those who only get the chance to use such products before handing them back, see well-being levels rise at first but then fall significantly afterwards.

And they end up with a lower sense of well-being than they had to begin with, said the study published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life.

Marketing and communication experts Liselot Hudders and Mario Pandelaere tested the links between luxury and well-being with 308 volunteers.

Each was given either "luxury" or "ordinary" versions of chocolate and pens to try out.

But some were allowed to take the item home and others had to hand it back after using it.

Chocolate and pens were chosen for the study because they had a universal appeal across both men and women. Most of those taking part were young adults, said the researchers.

After taking the item home or giving it back, the volunteers were taken through a specifically designed questionnaire to measure their "sense of well-being."

It found those allowed to take home the upmarket items, rated the items themselves as more luxurious than those not allowed to keep them.

But, more importantly, those who got to keep their luxury items were "significantly more satisfied with their lives" than others.

And those who had to hand back their luxury items saw themselves as less satisfied with life afterwards, said Liselot Hudders.

"People are more satisfied with life when they own luxury products than when they only get to use them," she said.

"This is in line with prior research that equates consumption with ownership.

"In contrast, the mere use or mere knowledge of luxury products seems to be detrimental for one's satisfaction with life."

- Daily Mail

- Daily Mail

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