I’m writing this in hopes of inspiring someone to do research on this topic. I’ve followed up with some leads in behavioral economics but after speaking with people there, it seems that the topic is best suited for a psych study.
The rates at which people acclimatize to new stimuli must differ from person to person. When person A gets a new car, how long does it take for that person to, when they see the new car, no longer receive that jolt of pleasure. Everyone returns to their natural state of happiness at some point after new material stimuli are introduced. But it’s the rate at which people do this that could be interesting. If person A takes a very long time (maybe several months) to acclimatize to a new stimuli while person B takes only a few weeks, what does this say about how those two people might be advised to find satisfaction.
Also, research could be taken down the path of trying to uncover what characteristics of products increase or decrease the acclimatization rate. Product developers would really like to know that.
I think there’s probably 4 situations. People who acclimatize fast and slow and then of those people, ones that focus on material goods and ones that focus on non-material goods. That would create an interesting matrix of outcomes.