If you have had a disappointment or upset and splash out on a designer watch or treat yourself to something expensive, then you could end up feeling worse, according to recent studies.
An American study asked participants to think about a time when they felt they were being undermined and then write down how they coped with the set back.
Results showed that those who splashed out on luxury goods ended up feeling unhappier in the long run.
This was because consumers who indulge in retail therapy after a personal failure are masking rather than recovering from the problem.
The study also found that shoppers who buy things to boost their self worth can actually end up feeling worse, as their flashy purchases only end up reminding them about their shortcomings.
This can strip consumers of their mental resources and impair their self control .
The study that was published in the Journal of Consumer Research went on to say “Consumers, who use products to boost their sense of self worth tend to impair their abilities to exert their self control.Consumption can sometimes compensate for our blunders and failures, but this doesn’t always work”
Researchers from New York University recommended dealing with a disappointment in one area of your life by developing skills and achievements in another.
After experiencing a setback in one area of your life consumers might be better of boosting their sense of self in a different area of their life.
For example a consumer whose intelligence is undermined might be better off signalling their self worth socially rather than trying to assert their intelligence.