Monday, July 07, 2008
A study by a couple of business-school professors says splurging now makes you happier later. Even more surprising: Not splurging now will make you regret later. The authors write: “We saw a similar pattern in a study of how businesspeople perceived past choices between work and pleasure. Over time, those who had indulged felt less and less guilty about their choices, whereas those who had been dutiful experienced a growing sense of having missed out on the pleasures of life.” The authors also did a study of mall shoppers, asking about their regret about buying an expensive item of clothing. Those who anticipated short-term regret bought less-expensive items, while those who anticipated long-term regret splurged. “Thinking about short-term regret drives consumers to be virtuous, while thinking about long-term regret leads them to be extravagant,” the authors write.