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  • The Scientific Truth Of Gift Giving

    [caption id="attachment_5240" align="alignleft" width="241" caption="Image Courtesy Of Bridalwave TV"]Giving[/caption]

    We all have heard that expression that it's better to give a gift then to receive one, but have you really thought about why that is? Yes there is the obvious fact that it gives you joy to give someone a gift, but why not find out the real answer. Tara Parker-Pope of The New York Times Health Section explains further in her article When Shopping Puts the Happy in Your Holidays:

    For many people, the real joy of the holiday season comes from shopping, whether it’s getting to the store at 4 a.m. for the best bargains or finding that impossible-to-find holiday toy.

    The pleasure you feel from every shopping victory is real. Shopping, like any new or exciting experience, activates the brain’s reward center, triggering the release of dopamine. That’s the same brain chemical released by drug use, gambling and other addictive behaviors.

    “Most people report that shopping is fun and exciting, and they like seeing new products in the stores,” said University of Iowa psychiatry professor Dr. Donald Black, who earlier this year wrote a review article about shopping addiction. “The reality is that shopping is America’s No. 1 pastime and most people shop because it’s enjoyable to them.’’

    Dopamine is a powerful brain chemical that gives you a shopping high. Just as people on drugs make bad choices, people caught up in a shopping high can make bad choices, too. That’s why impulse purchases, overspending and buyer’s remorse are so common.

    Everybody at some point has spent too much money at the store or regretted a purchase. Indiana University professor Ruth Engs, who studies shopping addiction, says true shopping addicts buy things they never use — often they have racks of clothes and other items with the price tags still attached. Instead of buying one or two items as they intended, they return from a shopping excursion with bags and bags of purchases. And sometimes they hide purchases from family members.

    Read more at The New York Times

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