Beware shoppers, touching instills sense of ownership

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If you often find yourself trailing your hand over luxurious items in a shop, you might be more tempted to blow your shopping budget, scientists claim.

Touching items can make you more prone to buying them, finds a new study. To combat the effect, a financial writer has suggested using the “one finger rule” to satisfy the desire, but prevent undesirable financial consequences.

The study, by the University of California Los Angeles, investigated whether touching an object influences a consumer’s perception of it. They found that by touching an item, it increases attachment as they feel as if they own it and value it more highly than if they had not touched it.

It is the first study to investigate the effect of touch on buyers, whereas 25 years of previous research has repeatedly shown that consumers’ valuation of an object increases once they have taken ownership of it, which is known as the endowment effect.

Finance expert Kim McGrigg came up with the “one finger rule” to reduce the effect in shoppers, Lifehacker reported. “You can touch anything, but only with one finger as it satisfies the desire to touch without implying ownership, which makes shoppers less likely to overspend.”

Scientists

believe shoppers should understand the power of touch to have any chance of not getting carried away while marketers work hard to exploit the vulnerability in a field called haptic research. – Daily Mail


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