Shopping is bad for men, claims study

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This may sound like a tired, politically incorrect joke, but shopping really is bad for a man's health, a study by psychologists tests has concluded.

p> This may sound like a tired, politically incorrect joke, but shopping really is bad for a man's health, a study by psychologists tests has concluded.

A man sent on a shopping trip to Oxford Street in London' for a consumer research test soon had his blood pressure rising to "dangerous" levels. Dr David Lewis, a consumer psychologist, said: "He just wanted to get out of the situation as fast as possible and therefore grabbed the first thing that came to hand."

The study, for a BBC documentary called Shopology, which attempts to analyse the psychology behind £115bn spent per week in stores in Britain, has detected definite differences between the attitudes of males and females.

In another test, a husband and wife were observed while buying a kitchen. Dr Mark Ritson, another psychologist, said: "The masculine buyer was concerned with construction, the quality of the overall product and how it is made. The feminine shopper, on the other hand, knows style and colour but claims to be ignorant about the more practical side."

Also, according to the programme, more than half of women dress up to go shopping, turning it into a social occasion, while most men are willing to throw on "any old thing". This, the psychologists say, shows that women subconsciously want a prolonged shopping experience while men want it to be over as soon as possible.

But some market researchers believe that is all "psychobabble" to help shore up old stereotypes. Linda Henderson, a consumer market analyst, said: "This is something for the unreconstructed stand-up comedian. In my experience men do take a lot of interest in buying things which affect them and their families."

The programme also found that one in five people, men and women, suffered "shop rage", a build-up of anger in queues.

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