How much will you pay for a banana literally attached to the wall using duct tape? $1? $2?
Well, one buyer paid $120,000 for this single banana, created by the artist Maurizio Cattelan and titled “Comedian.”
You must feel like “Artists are crazy.” Yes, they are. And then here comes the even crazier thing.
Although the banana was already sold, it was still displayed at Miami’s Art Basel. On Saturday afternoon, an obviously hungry performance artist ATE this really expensive snack in front of the crowds. However, a spokeswoman said that the gallery was not taking action against him, saying that he didn’t destroy the artwork and that the banana was simply an “idea.”
It turns out that someone paid $120,000 for the “idea (whatever it is)” behind a rotten banana. Wow, wow, wow, artists are crazy. Anybody who drops $120,000 — a truly life-changing amount of money for most Americans — on a banana must be a rich villain like Lex Luthor.
But are we better than those ridiculous buyers who purchase expensive and useless things? If you think about this question seriously, you may find the answer is “NO.”
We all buy things we don’t need, once or twice. But why?
According to psychologists, most people's buying behavior can fall under the following categories:
1. Emotional need
Many people buy things just to escape from bad moods. I’m one of them. Every time I get blue, I find myself under an uncontrollable urge to rush to a shopping mall. I know it’s a bad idea, especially to my bank balance. But I really feel better when doing so.
Therefore, most people are not just buying the products. Instead, they are buying emotional needs. This explains why people pay additional amount of money.
2. Wanting to be
Consider you are a woman who has worked as a maid for 10 years. You watch your masters go to luxurious parties in fancy clothes and shoes, and you dream that one day you can put on a nice dress, too. Then, that nice dress you’ve been dreaming about for 10 years is accessible to you.
Do you want it? Yes.
Do you need it? No. Because you have no party to enter.
Similarly, people associate a certain dream or possibility with a certain product. They buy the product because they think this can bring them closer to that dream.
3. Following the crowd
According to social proof theory, people will mirror the actions and opinions of others. In other words, things become more appealing when they are desired by others. This sometimes drives people to buy things they don't need.
For example, when all the people around you are wearing Uggs, you may feel that you also need to own Uggs. You may not need a pair of snow boots, but you need to feel like you fit in with your group of friends.
In a word, the product we buy is never only a product. We purchase not only products, but how the products make us feel. And we are willing to pay lots of money for that kind of feeling because we are humans, the most emotional beings in this world.