Study claims 'independent people' buy things that 'make less sense'

  • IANS, Singapore
  • Updated: Apr 03, 2015 17:05 IST

People who view themselves as independent are prone to make their purchases based more on their feelings than on rational assessments, contends a study.

Those who consider themselves less independent are more likely to choose products that provide greater benefits, showed the findings published in the Journal of Consumer Research.

"Our feelings often contradict logical assessments and the product that appeals more to our feelings is not the one that 'makes more sense' based on careful consideration," said study authors Jiewen Hong from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Hannah Chang from the Singapore Management University.

In one study, consumers were asked to imagine they were looking for an apartment to rent.

They were asked to choose between a more aesthetically appealing apartment (smaller, prettier, with better views) and an apartment that is functionally better (larger, more conveniently located).

Consumers who consider themselves more independent were more likely to choose the smaller, prettier apartment whereas consumers who consider themselves less independent were more likely to choose the larger, more conveniently located apartment.

In another study, when choosing between a beautifully designed laptop and a more powerful laptop, consumers who viewed themselves as more independent were more likely to choose the beautifully designed laptop, whereas those who viewed themselves as less independent were more likely to choose the more powerful laptop.

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