11 February 2008

The Sadness-Spending Link

The sadder you are, the more likely you will spend. Have you observed this in yourself and others? A recent study has found some truth in this observation:
The study of 33 volunteers, to be published in the June 2008 edition of Psychological Science, found that feeling sad leads to self-centered thinking --- and this, in turn, can lead to a greater likelihood of dropping extra cash on something to make you feel better.

To reach their conclusions, a team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon, Harvard, Stanford and the University of Pittsburgh showed volunteers either a video clip that showed grief following a tragic death or a neutral clip from a nature show. Afterward, participants had the chance to purchase an ordinary item --- a sporty water bottle. They found that people who'd watched the sad video clip offered an average of 300 percent more money for the item than those who had viewed the neutral clip. [ABC News, 8 Feb 2008]

Interesting, right? Most people might be aware of it and know it wouldn't sit well with budgeting, but still, they end up buying and shopping for needless items.

What to do when you're sad? Stay at home and read a book. Call a best friend and pour your heart out. Sleep. Get a massage. Listen to good music. Exercise! Do anything to take your mind off your grief, but stay away from the mall. Oh, and I almost forgot, don't overeat! I also think that's another pitfall of being sad, and I strongly suspect that there's also a sadness-overeating link.

Easier said than done, you say? Well, I agree. Being sad means being self-focused. You pity yourself more, and while you really want to ditch your grief, it becomes a real challenge. But retail therapy is not the answer. Especially when you are making both ends meet.

8 reactions:

Toni said...

You know I love this, Dr. E. :)

Thank you.

Mari said...

i leave all the plastics at home when i'm depressed. better that way.

ruth said...

when i'm sad, i don't have the urge to do anything, shopping included. i just curl up and sleep.

pero when i'm hungry, naku don't send me grocery shopping. i end up buying much more than i should!

may said...

going to the mall and not buying anything can be therapeutic too.

just browsing through every item like some serious shoppper, unconsciously forgetting the passing of time and whatever it is that pains your soul :)

rolly said...

I try very hard never to be lonely. But when I can't help it, I cant do retail therapy anyway as the source of the loneliness is usually the lack of money. hehe

MommyBa said...

This was a really interesting post. I've had a hard week and I guess that's one of the reasons why I'm broke now :D

Have a great week ahead ;)

jey-aiy said...

i find the smell and feel of books very therapeutic for me. there's something with books that calm me when i'm sad or angry or frustrated.

bayi said...

Somehow, I seem to think that this condition is more prevalent with the ladies. Am I right?