Experts examine the psychology of shopping

POSTED: Thursday, November 22, 2012 - 10:00am

UPDATED: Thursday, November 22, 2012 - 10:00am

Love it or hate it, holiday shopping is about to kick into high gear.

But for some those Black Friday bargains may be a bad deal when it comes to your budget.

"Crowds gives us a sense of competition. Competition to get the best deal," explained Dr. Barbara Herzig, a psychiatrist. "Black Friday is for women what hunting is for men. Sometimes the chase is as important  as the target. And after it's over, swapping stories about the finds that you make is also an enjoyable experience."

Retailers know just how to push our panic buttons.

"Limited time offer. Short supply. Hot deals. It forces the consumer to make impulsive decisions and they get an adrenaline rush," said Herzig. "However sometimes an adrenaline rush can be a dangerous thing."

Research finds that we're drawn to sales because it makes us feel like savvy shoppers.

We tend to focus on how much we save instead of how much we spend.

Fear of not being able to get an item later can also push us to make purchases.

And the emotions of the holiday can intensify the pressure to find the perfect present.

So how do you not bust your budget.

Experts say think like Santa.

Make a list and check it twice!

If you can't resist some impulse buys, set aside a specific amount of mad money.

When it's gone, head for home.


Dr. Frank McGeorge reporting.

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