Well, Here’s An Upsetting Bit Of Information About Our Shopping Habits

Think back to the last time you wanted to go shopping. Do you remember what you were thinking about beforehand? Was it, by any chance, your own mortality? The transient nature of things? If you were, that would explain a lot. A study in Journal of Consumer Affairs has found that thinking about death makes us more likely to hit the mall (or store websites). 503 college students took a test that measured how prone to spending they were and then described their feelings about either their death or a trip to the dentist. After that, they were presented with a number of scenarios that forced them to determine how frugal to be. They chose between purchasing apartments of two different prices, fixing a fridge or buying a new one for three times the price, and getting a new laptop or keeping their old one. People who generally enjoyed shopping were more likely to choose the expensive option when they thought about death than when they thought about the dentist. Those who didn't, on the other hand, chose the same options in those two conditions. "This indicates that [avid] consumers see purchasing and having goods and services as an important source of self-esteem," study author and HEC Montreal professor Marcelo Nepomuceno told The Independent. "When they think about death, they become more inclined to buy because this helps them feel better about themselves." We can only imagine what marketers will do with this information. Be highly suspicious if you see any morbid commercials this holiday season.