business news in context, analysis with attitude

Interesting piece in The Wall Street Journal about studies into how emotions affect people making buying decisions. "In a provocative result from the new discipline of behavioral economics, scientists find that emotions that have nothing to do with the transaction at hand can influence what price people are willing to pay for something and what price they are willing to accept," the paper reports.

The results, to this point, suggest that anger makes people more optimistic and less concerned about risk; fear makes people exaggerate risks and minimize benefits; and sadness puts people in a buying mood, probably because they want to take steps to change their circumstances and state of mind.
KC's View:
Based on this research, we can come to a pair of conclusions.

One is that while many chains go out of their way to create pleasing and enticing shopping environments, they would be better off developing retail formats more akin to the black hole of Calcutta,.

The other is that consumers would be better off if they could model their behavior on Mister Spock and embrace a Vulcan approach to life. Better off, and eminently more logical.

That said, we're not sure we're buying into these research conclusions. We've been in a lot of stores over the years that have profoundly saddened us, and they haven’t done anything close to making us interested in buying anything.