(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) -- In what likely flies in the face of previous studies, it seems that University of Michigan researchers have determined that shopping is good for one’s soul. Or at least, what is termed as “retail therapy” can help some people get over the blues by helping them think they’re more in control of their environment. By conducting a series of experiments, UM researchers say that actually making a purchase is 40 times more effective at reducing melancholy than not shopping at all.
Buying something was also three times better than just browsing through a store without opening your wallet. The researchers weren’t really sure how retail therapy worked, that is, if it was just a momentary distraction or if it simply killed time.
However, they rejected previous theories that “shopping that is motivated by distress is often said to be ineffective, wasteful and a dark side of consumer behavior.”
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