Black Friday: desire to buy manipulates the brain

On Black Friday, discount campaigns follow discount campaigns, and many people’s credit cards are glowing. But why do the offers make you so happy and how unhealthy can excessive shopping be?

Black Friday (black Friday) originally comes from the USA and is the Friday after the American holiday Thanksgiving, which always falls on the fourth Thursday in November. The following Friday ushers in the Christmas season and is known for lots of discounts and offers in department stores and specialty retailers. Black Friday is now a global phenomenon that attracts both local suppliers and online retailers with supposedly good offers and discount campaigns.

Discount campaigns – the special kick for the brain

Shopping, even without special offers or discount campaigns, often represents a certain sensory overload for the brain. However, the discounts are particularly noticeable to the human eye, and the feeling of being able to buy something cheaper and saving money often beats rational thinking.

If the person buys the product, they save money – the question of whether the product is needed or makes sense is skillfully ignored.

The special thrill of having bought the product and, on the other hand, even saved something, releases the happiness hormone  dopamine in the body  , which leads to a good mood, high spirits and an inner confirmation of the purchase. In order to maintain this state or to experience it again, people continue to shop.

Many people can control this behavior and reconsider their purchasing decisions. Similar to sweets, drugs, alcohol or gambling, increased consumer behavior can also lead to addiction.

Compensatory buying behavior – the first step into shopping addiction

Compensatory buying behavior, which is characterized by various factors, can be named as a preliminary stage of shopping addiction:

  • postpone problems
  • occasional shopping for relaxation
  • short-term loss of control when shopping
  • Shopping as a status symbol and hobby

Addiction to shopping – beware of the shopping madness

With a shopping addiction, the focus is no longer on the products purchased, the act of buying itself is responsible for the feeling of happiness.

Shopping addiction often occurs in connection with other mental illnesses:

A personality disorder can also increase the risk of shopping addiction.

The ability to shop online quickly and easily with a click tempts many to become unhealthy consumers.

Compulsive shopping is classified as an “Impulse Control Disorder (unspecified)” in the International Classification of Diseases.

Shopping addiction can be diagnosed and treated by a psychiatrist. Group therapy, individual talk therapy, or other specialized forms of therapy (such as music therapy), and treating psychological problems that preceded the addiction can help cure the addiction.

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