Ashford Castle’s executive housekeeper shares the perfect bedroom setup for a luxurious night’s sleep
Ashford Castle’s executive housekeeper shares the perfect bedroom setup for a luxurious night’s sleep

Megan Burns

‘Immediately I lost 30k followers that I’d built over 8 years’
‘Immediately I lost 30k followers that I’d built over 8 years’

Holly O'Neill

This quaint, cedar-clad house in Wicklow is on the market for €1,495,000
This quaint, cedar-clad house in Wicklow is on the market for €1,495,000

Lauren Heskin

‘I was not prepared for how abandoned by friends I would feel after having a baby’
‘I was not prepared for how abandoned by friends I would feel after having a...

Sophie White

Here’s what to expect in seasons 3 and 4 of Netflix’s Bridgerton
Here’s what to expect in seasons 3 and 4 of Netflix’s Bridgerton

Jennifer McShane

Is the garden home office the future of working from home?
Is the garden home office the future of working from home?

Lauren Heskin

22 colourful kitchens that will convince you that bright is beautiful
22 colourful kitchens that will convince you that bright is beautiful

Lauren Heskin

Image / Fashion

When Retail Therapy is a Downer


by Jeanne Sutton
27th Jan 2015
blank

The words ‘retail therapy? are ingrained on our aspirational brains from the moment our parents teach us how money leads to the exchange of goods, and possibly a happy glow. Feeling down? To a MAC counter you go. Self-esteem not what it used to be? A fabulous and flattering dress it is. This transformative power of shopping is a trope in almost every romantic comedy going. See Clueless, Pretty Woman, Confessions of a Shopaholic… actually maybe skip that last one.

However, a recent study in the Journal of Consumer Research has found this kind of emotional shopping isn’t exactly good for the capitalist soul. In fact, such purchases are too closely linked to the bad feelings that originally motivated them, leading to diminished self-worth.

The study claims shopping in a bad mood is ?compensatory behavior?. You do it to comfort yourself. If you’re particularly emotional while spending you engage in ?within-domain compensation.? When you feel threatened you buy products that ‘symbolize accomplishment.? The study pointed to MBA students who compare themselves less favourably to their classmates and then buying products that signal success, like a designer watch or plush leather briefcase. These products are meant to ‘serve as a psychological salve to repair the self?, but actually trigger thinking more about the original disappointment.

As the research concludes, ?Although within-domain compensation can offer safe harbour in times of psychological threat, the present research demonstrates that detrimental effects may lurk beneath the surface of apparently calm waters.?

Does that mean the movie Pretty Woman lied?

Follow Jeanne Sutton on Twitter @jeannedesutun

 

Also Read

blank
premium FASHION, SHOPPING
Lynn Enright: ‘With spring’s arrival, I’m finally ready to go back to real clothes’

Lynn Enright senses new beginnings, and a sign that she should start perusing bikinis online.

By Lynn Enright

Normal People
FASHION
‘Normal People’ one year on: How the TV show influenced pandemic fashion (and not just the GAA shorts)

‘Normal People’ celebrated its one-year anniversary yesterday which prompted us...

By Sarah Finnan

jumpsuits
FASHION, SHOPPING
10 jumpsuits for a relaxed but stylish spring vibe

If months at home has left you wondering how you ever put an outfit together, you’re not alone — enter these easy to wear jumpsuits

By Megan Burns

stretchy trousers
FASHION, SHOPPING
Transitional trousers: 20 comfy pants to help you break up with your leggings

By Victoria G. L. Brunton

bike outfits
FASHION, SHOPPING
Cute bike outfits for picnics and trips outside your 5km

If you’re travelling on two wheels, we’ve put together some stylish outfits that won’t get in your way.

By Megan Burns

blank
FASHION
Queens of Archive is the sustainable fashion brand with great dresses you need to know

Queens of Archive is a new fashion brand with gorgeous...

By Edaein OConnell

blank
FASHION, BEAUTY, SHOPPING
The weekend shopping fix: hair heroes, happy t-shirts and luxe candles

By Holly O'Neill