Sure, you say flashy cars and celebs don’t impress you, but your brain tells a different story. Neuroscientists have found that pleasure-sensing areas of our brain kick into high gear around money or people who outrank us socially—i.e., that rush you get at the slot machine, or when you spot Madonna on the street. But don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you’re shallow. You’re just hardwired to respond to certain stimuli in a certain way, just like everybody else. And now you can freak out—shamelessly—next time you see a new Rolls-Royce.

RESEARCH: You Can Buy Happiness, Depending on What You Buy