When You Buy Your Ticket Can Affect Your Mood

When you buy a ticket to a show, you’re actually buying:

  • a physical ticket (often)
  • the anticipation of the event
  • the entertainment of the event
  • the memories and reflections that follow the event, including talking about it with other people
  • a change in yourself — an upgrade

That’s what Jim wrote back in October. Yesterday, Science of Us highlighted the findings of a new paper in Psychological Science, which suggest that we derive more pleasure from anticipating experiences than material objects.

“The anticipatory period tends to be more pleasant, more exciting, and less tinged with impatience for experiential purchases we’re looking forward to relative to future material purchases we are planning on making.” –Amit Kumar, a doctoral student in social psychology at Cornell

Curious why? Read the full article where researchers offer at least a couple of different possible reasons.

And how can we maximize our enjoyment of experiences? Kumar says, ” … it might be a good idea to make that restaurant reservation well in advance, to buy the tickets to the show beforehand, to start planning that vacation ahead of time. This increases the amount of time one can spend savoring his or her future consumption.”


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