Does be­ing en­vi­ous of some­one make you more will­ing to spend more on in-game pur­chases? Quite pos­si­bly. Other stud­ies by Van De Ven, Zee­len­berg and Pi­eters found that be­nign envy can even mo­ti­vate us to pay an ‘envy pre­mium’ for prod­ucts. Sub­jects in their study who were made en­vi­ous of another per­son’s iPhone were will­ing to pay 64 per cent more than a non- en­vi­ous con­trol group for a new phone to nar­row the gap caused by their gad­get envy. In­ter­est­ingly, another group that ex­pe­ri­enced ma­li­cious envy – that is, they didn’t think the per­son in ques­tion de­served the iPhone and wanted them not to have it – were will­ing to pay more for a Black­berry phone as a way to simultaneously re­duce the envy and dif­fer­en­ti­ate them­selves from some­one they had looked down on. Think on this the next time you look at a ri­val and want to buy a bet­ter out­fit for your character or pre­order the ex­pan­sion pack to get a unique weapon.

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