Thursday, 17 March 2011

Why you shouldn't shop on an empty stomach... or an empty bladder.

You probably know it's not wise to go shopping on an empty stomach. 
That's because your brain will be awash with hunger signals that will steer you towards the nearest cake counter. 
But now psychologists have discovered you shouldn't go shopping an an empty bladder either.

The reason for this comes from the finding that, when the bladder is full, people in experiments made spending decisions that were less rash. 

“You seem to make better decisions when you have a full bladder,” said Dr Mirjam Tuk of the University of Twente in the Netherlands, who came up with the idea for the study after sitting through a long lecture (presumably cross-legged). The same parts of the brain that control the bladder are also responsible for the control of desire and reward. So when you can control the urge to wee you will also activate the neurological links that control the urge to - er - splash out in the shops. Financially speaking that is.

Dr. Tuk suggests drinking a bottle of water before making a decision about your stock portfolio. And she says shops that want to encourage impulse buys should have customer loos, because shoppers might opt for more expensive products when they have an empty bladder.

In Sheconomics we say that delaying tactics are a good way to avoid making an impulsive purchase. One of these is to leave a purchase at the till and go back for it later. Maybe go for a walk and see if it's still such a desirable purchase by the time you get back. According to this research, a detour to the loo might also be advisable!

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