The Endowment Effect

The endowment effect is a powerful cognitive bias that we live with. In short, we overvalue the things we have because we own them.

I can’t give away this sweater because my relative gave it to me. I can’t donate this printer because I bought it on sale. I can’t throw away this mug because I’ve taken it everywhere I’ve moved.

To fight this bias, look at your things through another person’s eyes.

I think about this while at clothing stores. When I enter, I look in the mirror and ask myself: how much would I pay for the clothes I’m wearing right now? If my clothes were taken and hung up in the store, how much would I pay for them?

Depersonalize, step back, and ask yourself how much you really value things.

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