7 Healthcast: Sad shopping
Have you ever tried "retail therapy"? Plenty of people say sure, they've spent a dollar or two, or a hundred, to beat the blues. Scientists say now they can prove it, people do spend more when they're sad.
Researchers showed two groups of students' movies, one sad, one neutral. Those who saw the sad film spent nearly four times as much to buy a bottle of water.
"The more you focus on self when you're sad, the more you will pay to get something," said Jennifer Lerner, director at Harvard Biobehavioral Laboratory for Decision Research.
Men? Women? It made absolutely no difference. What's interesting is the people in this experiment were studying to be engineers, scientists, and mathematicians. They're trained not to let their emotions get the best of them.
"They don't believe they're susceptible to these effects and yet they are," said Lerner.
So here's some advice from the research team, if you're planning to buy something, give yourself a "cooling off period." And if you're in a bad mood, then leave that credit card at home.
This was a really small study- just 33 people. It's part of a new field of research called "decision science," and it's trying to determine what drives the choices we make.
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