Study Shows Shopping Buddies Prevent Impulse Purchases

With all the upcoming sales surrounding Valentine's Day, it could be easy to go a little overboard on gifts for your loved ones.

A new Canadian study finds that taking a family member or a friend shopping with you can help to keep you from making impulse purchases.

Why? Doctors say that solo shoppers tend to have lower inhibitions.

"When you're shopping by yourself, you go on automatic pilot, and when people function in the part of their brain that is on automatic pilot, they don't check themselves much," Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Joe Rock said. "So what they're finding is that there are more impulse purchases."

Researchers in Montreal studied more than 1,000 shoppers at two different malls. They found the presence of a shopping pal drew the shopper away from their normal tendencies and often triggered feelings of apprehension about a purchase.

It may even create a feeling of competition or comparison, causing the shopper to worry about what their friend might think of their purchases.

On the other hand, solo shoppers may have lower inhibitions when it comes to making impulse purchases. They may even lie about what they bought to others, and doctors say, if given the choice, you should shop with a buddy for reasons that go beyond what you buy.


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