Self-control key to wise spending decisions: study

May 31st, 2008 - 5:51 pm ICT by admin  


Washington, May 31 (IANS) Self-control is the key to wise spending decisions on food, credit or savings, according to a study. The study, by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, also found that, especially when it came to spending on food, consumers who weigh their decisions were likely to exercise and consume healthy foods.

Such spenders also had lower rates of alcohol abuse, procrastination, overspending - and were more likely to be saving money for retirement.

“The importance of studying consumers’ self-control is widely recognised, since being unable to regulate one’s emotions, impulses, actions and thoughts creates problems, not only for individual consumers, but also for society as a whole,” the authors of the study wrote.

Fear was a big factor behind prudent spending, the study found.

“The consideration of negative consequences has a bigger impact than the consideration of positive consequences,” noted the study, which outlined a method for measuring people’s abilities to consider the consequences of their actions.

The study’s authors - Gergana Y. Nenkov, J. Jeffrey Inman, and John Hulland - developed a 13-question survey that rated participants on what they called the Elaboration on Potential Outcomes (EPO) scale.

The scale proved to be a reliable measure of how much participants considered the consequences of their actions.

The good news, according to the authors, was that people who are not inclined to consider the consequences of their actions can be aided by simple interventions, like brochures and advertising that encourage them to think about the dangers of obesity or the benefits of saving for retirement.

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