Shopaholic? Blame those Neurons for Making u Crazy!

Apr 11, 2012

I was recently reading a book on Retail (yes I have a varied interest and interest in everything!). It is the How to Succeed at Retail: Effective Brand Strategies, Case Studies, and Practical Techniques by Keith Lincoln and Lars Thomassen. The edition is quite old (printed in 2007) but I really like way it is written. The following part which talks about how consumers can go crazy while shopping (seller’s delight) and what causes that. Also includes a monkey experiment.       
If you are in hurry then read only the bold texts. It will still get the essence of it :D
<!--[if !vml]-->Add a note here<!--[endif]-->People who shop like crazy may apparently be slightly mad (Sunday Times, 2006a). A new scientific study from the United States shows that decisions about what to buy and what not to buy are made by a few neurons located in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) – an area of the brain just behind the eyes. People who shop like crazy may not be entirely normal and may indeed be slightly mad (Don’t tell me that I never warned you). Compulsive shoppers may have a dysfunction in a crucial decision-making area of their brain. And we thought they were just simple shopaholics. The study was subsequently published in Nature: 'We have long known that different neurons in various parts of the brain respond to separate attributes, such as quantity, colour and taste' (Camillo Padoa- Schioppa, the neurobiologist who led the study).
<!--[if !vml]-->Add a note here<!--[endif]-->But quite how those different attributes are reconciled has been a mystery until now. You might, for example, like one shirt because it is blue, but another because of its material and another for its pattern. How do you choose between them or to buy any of them at all? To find out, Padoa-Schioppa and his colleagues studied the brain activity of macaque monkeys who were offered the choice between grapefruit juice and orange juice in differing quantities. The monkeys generally preferred grapefruit juice, but opted for orange juice under certain circumstances – if, for example, a sufficiently greater quantity was available. When three times more orange than grapefruit juice was offered, the monkeys switched their choice. Not stupid, these monkeys.

As usual Pics from internet edited in Paint Again!
I need to have a image s/w installed in my work PC…
And no this is not a macaque monkeys.
I used this one as I liked the way it is thinking :D 

They found that while different areas of the brain are involved in taste, the decision to change the choice was made by only a few neurons in the OFC. Any small lesions or damage to that area could cause shoppers to behave irrationally. Padoa-Schioppa said: 'When you go to compulsive shopping, I think it is safe to assume that there is a dysfunction in the OFC which is leading to it.' Now we can truly understand the female compulsion to buy shoes. And the male compulsion to buy gadgets. ( Just FYI – I like getting gadgets as gift more than Shoes….much more than Shoes)

Such dysfunctions may be involved in other addictions as well. In various brain scans, when people gamble, we see the OFC light up. Similarly, drug addiction is a type of impulsive behaviour. 'I used to be buying something nearly every day, it's just this thing where I have to buy something. It's a force stronger than me. I can't control it' (Juliana De Angelis (Sunday Times, 2006a), a sales rep from West London). (Sounds so much like me in Jan 2012…okay whom am I kidding?...sounds like a ‘always’ Me but not every day…for me it’s every weekends but there are the weekday buys from online shops as well )
<!--[if !vml]-->Add a note here<!--[endif]-->One 20-year-old has been known to spend £15,000 ($28,000) in one weekend (yes..this is the weekend shopping that I was talking about….thanks Keith and Lars for mentioning the weekend part) on shopping sprees in New York – Coleen McLoughlin, fiancĂ©e of the English footballer Wayne Rooney, who has become a national emblem of shopaholism… that what I do not intend to be

   National Emblem of Shopaholism - Coleen McLoughlin  -   Source 
 What have you choose if you were that monkey…
no I am not calling you a monkey…..
also I am giving u a choice between

3 Maybelline (including any shades u want…even the US only ones)


1 MAC lipcolor (any special LE one)

*monster laugh*

Do share :D


  1. siigghhhh.. i guess now its proved that I am MAD! the "pati" would have that "i told u so" smirk on is face now :P hehehhehe but honestly Sayani? I dont mind a bit being mad ;) am sure you dont too ;)

    1. who will 'Mind' being 'Mad' for such a beautiful reason ;)

  2. I don't have this problem! YAY! I do get obssessed with products or shoes or gadgets but I don't buy them till the time is right. LOL! Still waiting to get a Samsung Galaxy S2 T^T

    1. same pinch...but me...right time = when I have the Mooooneee Honey :D

  3. I guess I'm mad too.. I always used to suspect it, but now I have proof! Yay! :D..

    1. Yay!! Hi5...but I still respect you a lot that u go not go like 50 blushes and 70 lipsticks ;)

  4. Replies
    1. i am sure many who read this post felt exactly that way :D

  5. I was never mad but I have become mad, what you say :p some neoronal changes have taken place since I entered the Makeup blog world :p he he he!


Please leave by your thoughts here and make my day :))

But if you put a link back for giveaway then I will mark it as spam.
Please respect the owner and the reader of the blog. If I find the comments to be hurting to anyone then I might have to remove it.