Imperfect Stamps?

Cognitive dissonance is a concept in psychology which states among other things, that the disconnect between what we do and what we believe creates discomfort and to deal with that internal discomfort we alter our perceptions of what we do to be more in line with what we want to believe about ourselves (that is, in plain-speak, we lie to ourselves). Surveys consistently show that Americans report attendance at church at twice the rates that it actually occurs and we report drinking only a third of the amount of alcohol that is actually produced and purchased (making us a very wasteful party nation). In philately, this plays out in the Never Hinged and quality fetish that pervades our hobby. Few collectors ever admit to buying medium quality stamps let alone defective ones and yet, wonder of wonders, they exist in all of the collections that we buy and see. Perhaps collectors damage them after buying them as perfect, or more likely we tend to idealize our purchases over time and are loath to admit that most of us would rather have a pretty stamp at an affordable price than no example of that stamp at all.

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