Audiophiles and the Seeking Mechanism

I love Mark Wiecorek’s blog, I know of no other place to read considered commentary on acoustics, psychology/marketing, and software. He is a modern eclectic man.

In this post, Mark guides us through how psychology is used by modern marketers to stimulate sales.

A key point of the piece is that the human brain is easily triggered into a “seeking state.” The pathways guiding this state evidently have been bolstered by evolution, presumably to stimulate a search for food and other necessities. But now the punchline:  humans generally enjoy seeking more than having!

The journey really is the reward.

Do you see any parallels to the behavior of audiophiles? How many hours do you spend analyzing which set of cables to buy? How many web sites? How many clicks?

Interestingly, I find Mark’s description of shopping mall design to be oddly reminiscent of CES or RMAF. I wonder why….



Wednesday, July 6th, 2011 Audiophile, Bob, General

1 Comment to Audiophiles and the Seeking Mechanism

  1. Thank you Bob for bringing this to our attention. I’ll read the post later. Your description of the article sounds so right on with my experiences and this goes beyond equipment I think. I think what sometimes gets men and women in trouble with regard to their partners is that chase mentality of going after something different with regard to other sex partners. If we have surplus money we entertain ourselves with trying to improve our audio situation. If we still have some good looks left we get excited when another person gives us a longing or inviting smile (assuming they have good looks). In audio equipment I really believe what is paramount with many is the looks of the equipment and its perceived ability to impress others. There is no other explanation when audiophiles’ show little interest in proper rapid A/B testing of audio equipment to see if there are irrefutable audio improvements. The pursuit of the latest and greatest is in our genes because of the competition for sexual favors that our ancestors dealt with I strongly surmise. It need not matter if expensive product X does actually sound better, it just matters that those we are to woo believe it means you can be a better provider, or some of that knowledge you may have that got you so able to be a big spender can rub off on you. What’s different now than thousands of years ago is that if you brought back to your tribe a big kill to share there was no fooling anyone about what you had. Today if you bring home a fat power cable or a heavy amplifier, well now you can’t count on everyone to believe that that is necessarily a better thing. But the habit of bigger or heavier or more sparkling is still with us.


  2. skepica on July 7th, 2011