Research proves the benefits of retail therapy

New evidence has emerged to show that shopping makes consumers happier and feel more in control than when they are just browsing.

In a study, published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, researchers at the University of Michigan carried out three experiments to uncover whether shopping restored a sense of control in people to counter feelings of sadness.

According to the study, shopping was up to 40 times more effective at giving people a sense of control, and they were three times less sad compared to those who only browsed.

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The study found that “retail therapy” should no longer be dismissed as a superficial healing remedy. “We found that shopping (whether hypothetical or real) restored a sense personal control over one’s environment, and thus helped to alleviate sadness. Of course, repeatedly engaging in retail therapy may increase one’s debt, jeopardizing the very sense of personal control that shopping was meant to restore,” researchers said.

 

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