Is Retail Therapy Real? Psychological View
Is Retail therapy Real? Psychological View#1
Are Best Things Free?
Fine things can actually be a therapeutic experience and if you do it too much, there is a therapist for that. So, they say that the best things in life are free, but it turns out that some things that you actually buy, do give you a lot of happiness.
Is Retail Therapy Real? Psychological View#2
Research on Retail Therapy in Psychology
Buying experiences gives you a lot more happiness than buying things, but there’s some recent research out of the University of British Columbia that might negate some of those findings. They separated into two different experiences of happiness and they said, “There are the joys that exist mostly in the moment and then there is the nostalgic pleasure of reflection, but momentary is happiness. The happiness that you might receive from things tends to be felt with a lot more frequency.”
Is Retail Therapy Real? Psychological View#3
Weidman and Dunn, the authors of this study, hypothesize that material items where they’re purchased for yourself or received as a gift, would lead to more of those momentary burst of happiness experiences. On the other hand, they should lead to more of that reflective sort of happiness.
Is Retail Therapy Real? Psychological View#4
The results showed that people found more frequent happiness for material gifts as opposed to experiential ones. However, when people were asked to look back at the gifts, people who were asked to reflect on the experiences, found more of that nostalgic happiness than those who asked to think about the material items.
So, there are a few little hiccups in this study, because they were constantly being asked multiple times a day by text message about their gifts. It’s reminding them of the pleasure that they’re seeing more than it would in a natural habitat. Things do bring you happiness.
For instance, if you buy the newest phone, there’s a lot of happiness that can come from that, such as being able to communicate with your friends, search the internet, listen to music, and things like that.
Is Retail Therapy Real? Psychological View#5
Expensive things, such as buying an expensive trip, house, or car, there can be a need psychologically to justify it for yourself and very often, you do the whole thing with it being sort of a reflective nostalgic thing.
Is Retail Therapy Real? Psychological View#6
I think that by design. It’s even supposed to be that when you go do it. You don’t go to France because you think that when you see the Eiffel Tower you’re just going to lose it right there. You go so that you can look back and say, “I have traveled or I have experienced things.” So, I think it makes perfect sense.
Is Retail therapy Real? Psychological View#7
Materialistic Gifts or Healthy Memory?
When you think about your friend who bought you these beautiful earrings that you still wear all the time, you think about the best parts of your relationship with your friend. You would remember the gifts like playing some random word or spending good time with each other. You think about having the most fun playing together.
Maybe, you would think about the earrings all the time, because you think these are pretty things or you think it’s so nice that your friend got you these earrings, but then, when you really think about the time that you felt the happiest, you would think about that moment playing those games with him or spending quality time with your friend.
Is Retail therapy Real? Psychological View#8
Can Money Buy you Happiness?
There are two different joys that can come from this. Things that you buy can bring you happiness, but money doesn’t buy you happiness. I think a lot of things that we find the most frequent happiness from is what connects us to other people.
Is Retail Therapy Real? Psychological View#9
Getting things to Share the Time with People that Matter to you
We like to think of it as being a clear-cut thing, but there are certainly tons of material objects that you’re not buying because it’s a material object. You’re buying it to share with. For instance, I don’t think that everybody needs to own a really big TV, but if you’re planning to do movie nights with your friends or family, then it’s not the material thing that you’re buying. The back of your TV set, it’s not a green screen, it’s an actual TV that you share with your family and friends.
For instance, I’ve bought a lot of board games. I don’t buy that because I want the physical board game. I buy it because I plan to use it with people.
So, for all of you guys who use retail therapy to make yourself feel better, there actually is the science behind it.
Let us know in the comments down what material goods make you feel the happiest.