Spend on experiences, not material goods, says new research

People who spend their money on experiences have stronger feelings of social connection with other people

If you’re feeling lonely and don’t want to feel so lonely, the solution may lie in experiences rather than shopping therapy, according to new research.

A number of psychological experiments have shown that people who spend money on experiences feel stronger social connections with other people than those who buy things.

For example, people tend to feel more connected and close to people with whom they share the same experience – a concert or a sporting event. a pair of shoes.

“When you know you saw the same band at a concert, you feel a stronger sense of connection than when you know you have the same shoes,” said researcher Amit Kumar, associate professor of marketing and psychology. University of Texas at Austin.

Loneliness: What the research shows

To test how spending style affects a person’s sense of belonging, Kumar and colleagues conducted a series of seven experiments with more than 1,400 participants.

The results showed that experiences are more about a person’s personality than material goods.

The results were published on May 21 Journal of Behavioral Decision Making.

“All of our shopping habits are part of who we are to some degree and can connect us to other people,” Kumar said in a university statement. “But it’s more about the experiences we buy than the materials we buy.”

Experiences are also less likely to be related to envy, the researchers explained, because a shared experience bonds two people more, even if one of the two can get a “superior version” of the same experience, such as a better seat at the football game. suitable

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