Why losing is stronger than gaining
According to a concept known as loss aversion, our fear of loss is greater than our desire to gain.
In other words, we prefer not to lose $10 than to find $10.
Some studies have suggested that losses are psychologically twice as powerful as gains.
It's no wonder, then, that consumers are so easily swayed by ads that include verbiage suggesting that time is of the essence, like "while supplies last" and "this offer ends soon."
Even if we might not want or need a product, we take advantage of the offer -- just so that we don't miss out.
The person who said, "You don't know what you have until it's gone" was onto something.
When we lose something, we lament the absence of something that may never come back. In many cases, they can be things that hold some sentimental value, like an old shirt or Teddy bear.
Gaining something -- say, buying a 2017 BMW -- can feel great in its own right, but after a day or two, you simply grow accustomed to having it. Losing a vintage 1930s Chevy in a car accident -- of which none may remain in the world -- could hit you a lot harder because you know the chances of you getting another one are slim to nil.
It goes to show you just how effective conveying "loss" can be in marketing and political appeals.
For example, rather than saying consumers will get the best computer on the market by buying an HP, the company might be better off communicating that they'll miss out on the best computer available by going with the competition.