Depression prompts women to shop more

May 23rd, 2009 - 12:41 pm ICT by IANS  

London, May 23 (IANS) Women seem to shop more when they are depressed because of recession, a new study suggests.
A survey conducted by Karen Pine, professor at the University of Hertfordshire and author of Sheconomics, found that 79 percent women go on a spending spree to cheer themselves up.

Her research concludes that some women use shopping as an emotion regulator, a way of anesthetising themselves to negative feelings or dissatisfaction with life. So worrying about money could, paradoxically, lead women to spend more.

Of the 700 women surveyed, four out of 10 named depression, and six out of 10 named ‘feeling a bit low’, as reasons to go on a spending spree. Women commonly expressed the view that shopping has the power to make them feel better.

Pine’s research found that an intense emotional state, high or low, could send women to the shops. “This type of spending, or compensatory consumption, serves as a way of regulating intense emotions,” she said.

This ability to regulate emotions is crucial for mental and physical wellbeing and humans adopt a variety of means of doing so, including drugs and alcohol. Shopping is one method increasingly adopted by women, said a Hertfordshire university release.

However, not all the women surveyed felt cheered by the shopping experience. One in four experienced feelings of regret, guilt or shame after buying something in the week prior to the survey. And seven out of 10 had worried about money during the same period.

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