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Forced to Be Bad

A study to be published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that “consumers are happier when someone else decides they can indulge in dessert or other guilty pleasures.”The authors note that while the freedom to make our own decisions generally energizes us, “when it comes to purchasing and consuming products normally associated with feelings of guilt, reducing someone’s sense of free choice could ultimately boost their overall well-being.”These results may be applied to luxury products to help consumers deflect their spending decisions. Meanwhile, businesses that sell indulgent products can help consumers enjoy their guilty pleasures. “Consumers will feel less guilt and enjoy themselves more if they don’t feel responsible for an indulgence such as an unhealthy but delicious dessert.”

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For more info, check out the Consumer Tab in Morning Coffee.