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Shopping In Heels... According To Brigham Young University

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Wearing high heels can change the way you shop Physical experience of balance influences consumer choices

When shopping for a big ticket item, such as a television, there is a checklist of things you should always do:

  • Read reviews
  • Compare prices
  • Wear high heels

If you’re uncomfortable with No. 3, you have other options. You can ride up and down the escalator, play a few games using the Wii Fit, or just go shopping immediately following your yoga class.

A new BYU study finds that consumers experiencing a heightened sense of balance are more likely to weigh the options and go with a product that falls in the middle of the high-end, low-end scale.

“If you’re someone who tends to overspend, or you’re kind of an extreme person, then maybe you ought to consider shopping in high heels,” said study author Jeffrey Larson, a BYU marketing professor.

Larson and BYU coauthor Darron Billeter have discovered that most anything that forces your mind to focus on balance affects your shopping choices as well.

In the example of the TV, balancing consumers are more likely to go with the 42-inch TV for $450 rather than the $300 32-inch set or the 50-inch screen for $650.

The study is part of an emerging area of research that examines the relationship between physical sensations and decision making. Previous studies have looked at the role of warmth, weight and hunger.

For their study, appearing in the current issue of the Journal of Marketing Research, the Marriott School authors set up experiments where balance was introduced to the consumer experience, including:

  • Leaning back on a chair while shopping online
  • Playing a Wii Fit game while simultaneously answering questions about product choices
  • Standing on one foot while considering which printer to purchase

Other elements that could have similar effects but were not included in the experiments include making purchase decisions while on a cruise ship or walking on icy sidewalks during winter shopping.

The authors say the most important takeaway from their study is that people should be aware of how physical forces can change the way we think about things.

“We need to sit back for a minute and consider, ‘Is this really what I want, or are the shoes I’m wearing influencing my choice?’” Billeter said. “We need to be more aware of what is influencing our choices.”

The results of the study, the authors write, demonstrate that influential cognitive processes are at play as people stumble through life, regardless of whether those stumblings are literal or metaphorical.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://news.byu.edu/archive13-aug-highheels.aspx

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Maybe we can explore and fulfil the theory. Experiment time.

 

:)

 

Al

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Well now, isn't that interesting! I agree, time to experiment!

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Considering that people who wear high heels have a habit of spending way too much on (overpriced) footwear I have some doubts with this theory. Unless shoes are somehow exempt from this. :wink:

 

That being said, all sorts of things influence our moods and behaviors. And shops seem to know most of them WAY better then we do. Even some old forgotten mom and pop store has probably been laid out in subtle ways to make you spend more money then you intended. 

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I wonder how heels affect your choice at the grocery? They seem to lay out the candy at the checkout. If I'm wearing heels I'm much more conscious of how I look and would refuse the candy. But in boy shoes I might be more inclined to pick a sweet or two. 

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It's interesting that you would say that. I used to be less inclined to go grocery shopping at all in heels but happy to go anywhere for clothes and vice versa in male type shoes. Now it isn't an issue though LOL.

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Kashaze: the high heel diet! Woohoo

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I'll write a book, it'll help cure the global obesity problem, the fast food/sweets industry will hate me, podiatrists will love me, and we can all wear what we want in peace. 

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Sounds good to me. When will the book go on sale? ;-)

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I wonder how heels affect your choice at the grocery? They seem to lay out the candy at the checkout. If I'm wearing heels I'm much more conscious of how I look and would refuse the candy. But in boy shoes I might be more inclined to pick a sweet or two. 

 

Personally I can see myself looking more at the candy when in heels, as to not have to watch other people look at me instead. Logically I know most people don't look at other people's footwear, but since I do it all the time I can't help thinking other people do it too. So suddenly that candy looks mightily enticing. 

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I wonder how heels affect your choice at the grocery? They seem to lay out the candy at the checkout. If I'm wearing heels I'm much more conscious of how I look and would refuse the candy. But in boy shoes I might be more inclined to pick a sweet or two. 

 

I think I would do the same. I feel that wearing heels gives me more self-esteem and inclines me towards healthier lifestyle options. As I've become more comfortable wearing heels in public, that sense of self-esteem has spread through my life so it's not like I have to wear heels to feel it, I just enjoy the sense of fun and self-expression wearing them. As for clothes shopping, I think that wearing heels makes me more discerning of what items might work for me, but also more likely to buy it when I find it.

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Considering that people who wear high heels have a habit of spending way too much on (overpriced) footwear I have some doubts with this theory. Unless shoes are somehow exempt from this. ;-)

Well, then buy heels whilst wearing heels.

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I have read once that doing the grocery shopping before lunch is not a good idea, hunger helps buying more than necessary. I have verified this many times, there is a huge effect. But as for heels, I don't think it changes my customer's behaviour that much.

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I have read once that doing the grocery shopping before lunch is not a good idea, hunger helps buying more than necessary. I have verified this many times, there is a huge effect. But as for heels, I don't think it changes my customer's behaviour that much.

 

So we should be glad if we can eat some samples inside the store? As it will ease the 'I want some food now!' impulse?

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I think I would do the same. I feel that wearing heels gives me more self-esteem and inclines me towards healthier lifestyle options. As I've become more comfortable wearing heels in public, that sense of self-esteem has spread through my life so it's not like I have to wear heels to feel it, I just enjoy the sense of fun and self-expression wearing them. As for clothes shopping, I think that wearing heels makes me more discerning of what items might work for me, but also more likely to buy it when I find it.

 

I think wearing heels when shopping for clothes is essential. You never know if the cut of your slacks/jeans will fit with your heels. 

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