The Psychology Behind The Pumpkin Spice Latte Obsession

You might not like it, but a lot of people love Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) and it’s officially back on the menu. But what makes it so special? Licensed therapist David Klow explains that we like something that is both old and new, saying,”There is a novelty about something new. We are wired to crave new experiences.Yet we are also accustomed to familiarity and long to create a sense of routine in our lives. When something combines a sense of newness with familiarity, it merges these two drives within us.” Other explanations: the arrival of the drink harkens the beginning of fall, and ‘what is still to come,’ the taste of the beverage awakens the pleasure center in our brain, making us feel good, and also drinking one makes us feel that we’re part of something bigger– the hashtag #PumpkinSpiceLatte was trending on Twitter Tuesday (August 28th) after the release of the drink– and people want to feel they’re part of that excitement, so they order themselves a PSL.