Yesterday, Apple officially announced the release of iPhone X, a phone “so immersive the device itself disappears into the experience. And so intelligent it can respond to a tap, your voice, and even a glance,” according to their website. This was music to iPhone, Apple, and technology-lovers’ ears, who have been awaiting this announcement. But then there’s the other end of the spectrum: those of us who don’t really care about having the latest Apple product—at least not anymore. And then, of course, those teetering in the middle who are excited about the news but not necessarily jumping in line to snag an iPhone X.
With that being said, one would expect Apple’s biggest fans to lead the pack in purchasing the newest iPhone—but only 12% of people said they would buy the phone no matter the price, according to the market research group Creative Strategies’ recent poll reported by USA Today. People are beginning to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of keeping up with the latest technology and, in this case, throwing down $1,000. But the ones who do decide to make the purchase, will do so out of habit or by using a goal-oriented method, psychologist Susan Weinschenk Ph.D. tells Newsweek.
According to Weinschenk, every purchase we make involves one of these angles. For example, you might grab a bagel on the way to work every morning without even thinking about it. But you wouldn’t buy a new car or an expensive trip somewhere without first planning and thinking about it. That’s the difference between making a purchase out of habit and utilizing goal orientation.
“I think if you really did a goal-directed analysis, could you justify spending $1,000?” Weinschenk contemplates. Ultimately, she concludes that, “most of the iPhone purchases at this point are [probably] habit based.” But wait—there’s more. Our shopping habits also rely largely on our sense of self. We have this ideation about who we are and what we do, which we try to align our actions with. And “if we don’t operate with our self-story then it creates an uncomfortable feeling,” she says.
So, do you think of yourself as someone who has to have the latest iPhone? Or do you see yourself as someone that doesn’t follow that fad? Your answer will drive you to either splurge on the new Apple product or say ‘no thanks’. But there are still the habitual and goal-oriented approaches that come into play as well, which are separate from these self-narratives. “Self-stories are active in any kind of decision-making, even goal-directed decisions,” Weinschenk explains.
I used to be the girl that needed the latest Apple technology and asked for the newest iPhone every Christmas—it wasn’t even a question, I had to have it. But today I no longer envision myself as a tech-enthusiast nor do I habitually splurge on iPhones. I instead take the goal-oriented approach and personally can’t justify spending $1,000 on a new phone I don’t particularly need—but I have no problem spending it on pizza, wine, and Netflix, my own personal kryptonites.