Sad Shoppers Spend More

Armen Hareyan's picture

Scientists suggest that depressed, sad people spend more money than those in good mood.

Scientists are conducting series of researches as part of 'decision science', which is aimed to define how one's behavior and mood affects decision making process.

A group of 33 volunteers participated in the study. These are students of engineering, science, and mathematics departments. The most interesting nuance of this research is that all these students are supposed to be less emotional and their decision making skills are well trained. All of them are absolutely sure that no factor than need can affect the way they shop.


The group was randomly divided into two parts. One of the groups watched a 'sad' movie, the other group a 'neutral' movie. Both groups were assuring that movies they watched can't anyhow affect their shopping. Both groups were asked to buy a basic commodity: water. The 'sad' group spent 300% more money to buy water, than the 'neutral' group.

"It is the combination of sadness and self-focus that drives the effect, and it turns out that sadness leads to an increase in self-focus," said Cynthia Cryder, co-author to the study, AFP quotes. "What we think is going on is that sad and self-focused people are feeling pretty bad about themselves and have a decreased valuation, and one way to do this is by acquiring material goods."

Another interesting nuance of the study is that there was no difference between men and women volunteers. Both sexes were equally affected by the movies they watched, despite of the idea we have about 'women shoppers'.

Scientists explain that sad and self-focused people are more inclined to spend more money on buying something material. Even when they don't feel sad, their mood definitely affects decision making process.

Therefore, don't go to a shopping when you're sad, or leave your credit card at home and take only a small amount of cash to avoid pointless spending of money.