Tightwads and Spendthrifts: A Black Friday Tradition

Black Friday at a Walmart

Black Friday shoppers at Walmart. Photo: Dustin (CC)

From ScienceDaily:

Every year about this time, on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that traditionally begins the holiday shopping season, early-morning consumers stand in long lines eager to purchase some sought after prize. From the outside, it looks as if these holiday shoppers can’t wait to plunk down their cash, but University of Michigan Marketing Professor Scott Rick says consumers often behave differently than they would ideally like to behave.

“Some consumers chronically spend more than they would like, and some consumers chronically spend less than they would like,” he says. Where an individual falls within the range of desiring to spend more or less largely determines whether he or she is a tightwad or a spendthrift, characteristics that determine quite a bit about a person’s spending habits.

Rick says anticipating the psychological pain that goes along with paying money drives some people to spend less than they would like, while not experiencing enough pain causes others to spend more.

While a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University, he and a group of colleagues developed and validated a “Spendthrift–Tightwad” scale to measure stable differences in the level of pain that come from spending decisions. He and his colleagues have since been able to observe the expected patterns of pain in the brains of tightwads and spendthrifts in fMRI experiments involving shopping tasks.

Read more here.

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  • http://spiritnewsdaily.com/ Donovan Moore

    Most of these early shoppers are only out to get the real cheap stuff or to sign up for drawings to get free stuff. This only indicates how WEAK the U.S. economy is.

    • Hadrian999

      thinking about economics in national terms doesn’t work any more, corporations run countries not the other way around, I don’t think the business leaders would blink if they decided they could make money by sinking their nation into the 3rd world, the real leaders are beyond ideas of nationalism or patriotism.

  • http://dmipr.com/ Donovan Moore

    Most of these early shoppers are only out to get the real cheap stuff or to sign up for drawings to get free stuff. This only indicates how WEAK the U.S. economy is.

  • Haystack

    I like how people on the news keep trying to sell us on the idea that shopping on “Black Friday” is some kind of a “tradition” that wholesome Americans have long observed.

    • Hadrian999

      i was a front line infantryman in iraq and I would rather do that again rather than go near a mall or walmart in black friday

    • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

      Thank you. It’s a massive blast of media pressure to flog people into doing something they’d otherwise break up into little purchases month by month. Throw in the frenzied atmosphere and the crush of competing crowd members and its rife for overspending and budget busting.

      But I’m anti-consumerist as hell and shop like a laser surgeon when forced to…so I can’t really imagine what goes thru people’s minds and makes this fake tradition seem appealing.

  • Haystack

    I like how people on the news keep trying to sell us on the idea that shopping on “Black Friday” is some kind of a “tradition” that wholesome Americans have long observed.

  • Hadrian999

    i was a front line infantryman in iraq and I would rather do that again rather than go near a mall or walmart in black friday

  • Hadrian999

    thinking about economics in national terms doesn’t work any more, corporations run countries not the other way around, I don’t think the business leaders would blink if they decided they could make money by sinking their nation into the 3rd world, the real leaders are beyond ideas of nationalism or patriotism.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Thank you. It’s a massive blast of media pressure to flog people into doing something they’d otherwise break up into little purchases month by month. Throw in the frenzied atmosphere and the crush of competing crowd members and its rife for overspending and budget busting.

    But I’m anti-consumerist as hell and shop like a laser surgeon when forced to…so I can’t really imagine what goes thru people’s minds and makes this fake tradition seem appealing.

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