Importance of Affirmation: Perceived Value Effect

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The phrase “perceived value” is often assigned to inanimate objects whose worth lies in the value a consumer assigns to the product. According to Adam Smith’s theory of “invisible hand”, rational individuals make decisions out of a desire to do what benefits themselves the most. Although this stimulates the economic market and benefits society as a whole, the application of this concept takes a negative toll on interpersonal relationships (Ulmer 256). When the consumer-object relationship is applied to human relationships, the accumulation of experiences and poor decisions that affect perceived value of one individual affects how that same individual will choose to treat the other. Rose Goldsen, Professor of Sociology at Cornell University, argues that “An individual bases his value on appearance, good behavior, bad behavior, and relationships” (42). These four areas directly build or destroy an individual’s self-esteem. The constant ranking of an individual that comes with daily competition influences his life through social, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects, which in turn, influence his output behaviors. Studies show that the damage to psyche begins in childhood (Cimini 13). Children innately yearn for affirmation. If a parent does not support and value his child, the child is more likely to live recklessly and desperately search for affirmation from the world. The extreme emotional behaviors lead to a lack of regard for moral code, poor treatment of others, and harm to the child. Societal flaws are paralleled in literature to act as foils of society. This concept is reflected in characters that represent caricatures of humanity in the novels Wuthering Heights, The White Tiger, and The Picture of Dorian Gray. ... ... middle of paper ... .... Shop It To Me Inc, 20 June 2013. Web. 29 Mar. 2014. Goldsen, Rose K., and Charles Morris. "Varieties of Human Value." American Sociological Review 22.1 (1957): 111. Print. Hafley, James. "The Villain in Wuthering Heights." Nineteenth-Century Fiction 13.3 (1958): 199-215. JSTOR. Web. 31 Mar. 2014. Khor, Lena. "Can the Subaltern Right Wrongs?: Human Rights and Development in Aravind Adiga's "The White Tiger"" South Central Review 29.1/2 (2012): 41-67.JSTOR. Web. 31 Mar. 2014. Liebman, Sheldon W. "CHARACTER DESIGN IN "THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY"" Studies in the Novel 31.3 (1999): 296-316. JSTOR. Web. 31 Mar. 2014. Ulmer, Melville J. "Human Values and Economic Science." Journal of Economic Issues 8.2 (Jun 1974): 255-66. JSTOR. Association for Evolutionary Economics. Web. 31 Mar. 2014. Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray. London: Ward, Lock, 1891. Print.
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