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Press Release 08-055

Misery, Not Miserly

Even momentary sadness increases spending

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Photo of woman holding shopping bags.

How a person feels impacts routine economic transactions, whether he or she knows it or not. Research shows that people who feel sad and self-focused pay more money for goods than those in more neutral states. In one experiment, primarily conducted by researchers at Carnegie Mellon and Harvard universities, "sad" participants offered almost 300 percent more money than "neutral" participants to buy the same product.

Credit: 2008 Jupiter Images Corporation