The tough go shopping. Just as we were running out of steam on our Socratic dialogue on happiness, the Wall Street Journal weighs in on the joys of shopping.
A study to be published in the June edition of Psychological Science magazine found that research subjects who viewed a “sad” video of a boy mourning the death of his father offered to pay four times as much for an item than those who were shown a “neutral” nature video.
In other words, if you shop to fight depression, like Carrie Bradshaw in “Sex in The City”, you are going to end up with a closet full of stuff you don’t need.
Research shows that people often do get a high from shopping — the brain releases chemicals such as dopamine or serotonin when a person is stimulated by discovering something new, such as a handbag. In 2006, a paper in the American Journal of Psychiatry noted that a survey of 2,500 adults showed that 6% of women and 5.5% of men displayed symptoms consistent with a compulsive buying disorder.