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The Costs and Benefits of Consuming

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Journal of Consumer Research
Vol. 27, No. 2 (September 2000), pp. 267-272
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.1086/314324
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/314324
Page Count: 6
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The Costs and Benefits of Consuming
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Abstract

Consuming is defined as behavior whereby entropy is increased in exchange for existential or experiential rewards. Existential rewards are well known—for example, the satisfaction of Maslowian needs. But experiential rewards are perhaps just as important: these refer to the temporary improvement in positive mood people experience when they are acting in goal‐directed, purposeful ways. Consuming is one way for obtaining such experiences. It is suggested that in order to evaluate the impact of consuming it is necessary to measure the entropy costs of the behavior balanced against the psychic benefits it provides.

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