March 2009 - Research from San Francisco State University presented at the annual meeting of
the Society for Personality and Social Psychology has found that purchasing experiences rather than possessions
results in increased well-being for consumers and others around them. The study concludes that this is because
purchases of this type address higher order needs such as the need for social connectedness.
Ryan Howell, assistant professor of psychology said:
"These findings support an extension of basic need theory, where purchases that increase psychological need satisfaction will produce the greatest well-being."
Participants asked to write reflections and answer questions about recent purchases reported that those involving experiences represented better value and greater happiness for both themselves and others regardless of income or the amount involved. They also resulted in longer-term satisfaction.
Ryan Howell explained:
"Purchased experiences provide memory capital. We don't tend to get bored of happy memories like we do with a material object. People still believe that more money will make them happy, even though 35 years of research has suggested the opposite. Maybe this belief has held because money is making some people happy some of the time, at least when they spend it on life experiences."
Longing for something intensely (like a holiday or food) can
change an individual's choice making processes with a wider array of options considered than would normally be
People usually follow emotional gut instinct rather than rational responses when making decisions about complex issues such as
terrorism, troop surges or crime, even though the brain can simultaneously process both kinds of information.
You can view any decision making as solving a problem - in fact
any kind of thinking task could be called problem solving.
Research sheds new light on the mental processes involved in "counterfactual
thinking" in which past decisions are reviewed and alternatives evaluated.
Study finds that the colour of orange juice has a huge effect on perceptions of taste.
The amount of emotional content
in television advertisements affects viewers' opinions of the product, regardless of the intended message.
A possible mechanism for how the brain allows us to anticipate future events and detect unexpected outcomes has been identified.