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How to Make the Most of “Retail Therapy”

Heal
Someone who has momentarily lost con-fidence in her intelligence may be more likely to purchase a pen than a candy bar, suggests a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research. Why? The pen may help restore her belief in herself as an -intelligent person.To illustrate this point, the authors of the study looked at how subtle manipulations, such as having a person write with her nondominant hand, can measurably reduce self-confidence and how this momentary “shaken self” can be restored by choosing a product that renews her self-view. For example, in one of the studies the researchers asked participants to write about health-conscious behaviors with their dominant or nondominant hands. Then, some of the participants wrote essays about the most important value in their lives (an activity designed to restore confidence). All the participants then assessed their moods and self-esteem prior to their being given a choice between a healthy snack (an apple) and an unhealthy snack (a candy bar). Participants whose confidence had been shaken by using their weak hand and who did not write the self-affirming essay …

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TherapyMotivationRetail Therapy

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