Study: Sadness can impair ability to spend wisely

BOSTON (AP) -- There might be some scientific evidence to back up the idea of "retail therapy." A new study shows that people's spending judgment goes out the window when they're feeling down -- and especially if they're a little self-absorbed. In the study, participants who watched a sad clip about a boy's mentor dying offered to pay nearly four times as much for a bottle of water than a group that watched a not-so-sad video -- about the Great Barrier Reef. The research found that sad people were more willing to spend freely when their sadness led them to focus more on themselves. Researchers say those people were willing to pay more -- presumably to feel better about themselves. And personal shoppers say they see the same thing -- clients who stray from their budgets when they're feeling blue. The study appears in the journal Psychological Science. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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