The reason why bargain-hunters should be aware about their state of mind when making purchases has been shown in a new research.
States of relaxation consistently increase the monetary valuations of products, actually inflating these valuations by about 10 percent, researchers say.
This phenomenon is demonstrated in six experiments involving two different methods of inducing relaxation, a large number of products of different types, and various methods of assessing monetary valuation.
In all six experiments, participants who were put into a relaxed affective state reported higher monetary valuations than participants who were put into an equally pleasant but less relaxed state.
In order to isolate the specific effects of relaxation rather than the more general effects of pleasant states, the researchers used videos and pieces of music to experimentally manipulate participants' state of relaxation while holding constant the pleasantness of their affective state.
The procedure ensured that in one condition, participants were more relaxed, whereas in the other condition, participants were less relaxed-though not stressed-and feeling equally pleasant.
After being put in either of these two states, participants were asked to assess the monetary value of variety products through various methods. In six studies involving more than 670 participants, relaxed individuals were consistently found to value the products more highly than their less relaxed counterparts.
The study will be published in the American Marketing Association's Journal of Marketing Research.