A typical Saturday afternoon might consist of going to the mall with friends, to drink coffee, do some shopping and finish with dinner and a movie. This is the sweetest plan. However, it can be painful for the pocket if we overdo it with our purchases. And the worst thing is that, according to recent research, the coffee we drink at the beginning can be a trigger for increased impulsivity when spending money.
The authors of this paper came to this conclusion as a result of two experiments. The first was to distribute drinks at the entrance to the establishment. home goods store. Total participated 300 people in two different stores, one in France and one in Spain. All of them were offered caffeinated espresso, decaffeinated espresso or water. A second experiment was then carried out, this time online. BUT 200 volunteers they were given one of these drinks and then asked to choose from a list of 66 items.
Both studies found that the purchases of those participants who drank decaffeinated coffee were much more expensive. more impulsive. Not only did they spend more money, but they were also more likely to choose things they didn’t really need.
Coffee and impulse shopping
In the first experiment, people who drank caffeinated coffee spent, on average, €27.48 and bought on average 2.16 pcs. However, those who did not drink caffeine spent, on average, €14.82 average 1.45 pcs..
In addition, the representatives of the first group were more likely to buy less necessary products, such as scented candles. The same was observed in an online experiment in which volunteers made more impulsive purchases after coffee, choosing products such as massager.
It should be noted that this does not mean that scented candles or massagers are bad to buy. You also need to take care of yourself. It’s just a wonderful fact in research.
The key is dopamine
According to the authors of this study, the impulsiveness of the buyers who participated in the study is due to increase in dopamine levels.
This neurotransmitter is known together with serotoninas one of happiness hormones. But it’s much more than that. For example, it plays a key role in what is known as reward systems. They are responsible for certain stimuli, such as sex or eating high-calorie foods, that give us pleasure. These are necessary actions for our survival as a species, so we are comfortable doing them. However, reward systems are also closely related to addictions. And the fact is that sometimes we lose sensitivity to a stimulus, so we need more and more to feel pleasure.
On the other hand, dopamine is closely related to impulsive behavior. In fact, its levels are very high in the brains of people with disorders such as ADHD, which are characterized by many impulsive behaviors.
It is known that caffeine stimulates dopamine synthesisbasically on two levels. On the one hand, it protects dopaminergic neurons, which are responsible for the production and transmission of dopamine. On the other hand, it blocks adenosine receptors. It’s a molecule behind feeling sleepy. It competes with dopamine for receptors, so the more adenosine, the less dopamine will be able to perform its function. However, when caffeine blocks adenosine receptors, it allows dopamine to bind.
In short, if we buy more impulsively after drinking coffee, it’s probably caffeine related. It would be necessary to analyze the levels of dopamine or even the areas of the brain that are activated in these people on a case-by-case basis. In addition, it would be interesting to analyze the purchases of the same person. with and without coffee. It is clear that the study has several limitations. However, it is undeniable that it has very interesting findings that you will definitely think about the next time you go shopping. You can even look at the long-awaited cup of coffee with different eyes.
Source: Hiper Textual