With the festive season on us there is a lot more head scratching going on about the good and the bad aspects of shopping. In a recent interview with Medscape consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow, noted that on the plus side shopping gets us out and interacting with other people, but it also can leave the consumer stressed and when they get home wondering why they bought what they bought. The problem is that retailers know how to affect the decision making of consumers.
‘They use smells,’ Explained Kit Yarrow. ‘They use music. They know that when people touch things, they’re more likely to buy them... They know all these things.’ Kits recommends that consumers ‘wait 20 minutes until their body relaxes and their mind can start taking over again before they make a purchase.’ For more on this check out the full interview on Medscape
Being suspicious about the whole consumer thing should not however make us blind to the benefits of giving gifts. We just have to remember we don’t need to buy big and flashy or even new. Some of the best presents I’ve given and received have been homemade or bought in charity shops. The favourite book of my children is an autographed copy of Roald Dahl’s ‘Danny the Champion of the World’ which was bought for thirty cents in a charity shop.
The simple and scientific fact is that giving gifts is good for you. In a recent article in the online version of Berkley University’s Greater Good Science Centre, Jason Marsh and Jill Suttie listed the five main benefits as:
1. Giving makes us feel happy.
2. Giving is good for our health.
3. Giving promotes cooperation and social connection.
4. Giving evokes gratitude
5. Giving is contagious.
Check out the article 5 ways giving is good for you for full details including facts, figures and youtube clips. You’ll never want to be a scrooge again.
Of course if you are looking for something to buy, feel free to check out my books - there's still some signed copies in Dubray Books in Galway and Rare & Recent Books in Cong. Enjoy!